Pope Francis: “A real chance for change”

In a reflection given to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day programme on 29 October, Pope Francis looked ahead to the COP26 UN climate summit and challenged us to work together to offer a radical new outlook on how we tackle climate change.

He said climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic have exposed our deep vulnerability and that a succession of interconnected crises forecast a “perfect storm” for humanity.

“Every crisis calls for vision, the ability to formulate plans and put them rapidly into action, to rethink the future of the world, our common home, and to reassess our common purpose.

“These crises present us with the need to take decisions, radical decisions that are not always easy.  At the same time, moments of difficulty like these also present opportunities, opportunities that we must not waste.”

Referring to his recent Joint Appeal with religious leaders and scientists, he said “we spoke of the need to work responsibly towards a ‘culture of care’ for our common home, but also for ourselves, and the need to work tirelessly to eliminate ‘the seeds of conflicts: greed, indifference, ignorance, fear, injustice, insecurity and violence’.”

He concluded: “The political decision makers who will meet at COP26 in Glasgow are urgently summoned to provide effective responses to the present ecological crisis and in this way to offer concrete hope to future generations.  And it is worth repeating that each of us – whoever and wherever we may be – can play our own part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home.”

Listen and read the full transcript on the Catholic Bishops’ website, by permission of Radio 4:

Pope: Don’t waste the opportunity to challenge the unprecedented threat of climate change