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The poor suffer the most, while contributing least to environmental damage, pope tells climate summit

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The Vatican Climate Summit gathered scientists, experts and government leaders from around the world to discuss how to solve climate crises within their own communities.

Promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, attendees of the three-day meeting included six US Governors like those of California and Massachusetts and 18 mayors.

The participants had a meeting with Pope Francis, where he expressed concern over what he says is the “worsening” data on climate change and its impact on vulnerable communities.

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“We face distinct but interconnected systemic challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, global inequalities, food insecurity, and a threat to the dignity of the populations affected.

“But let’s be clear: it is the earth’s poor who suffer the most, despite contributing the least to the problem.”

The pope also posed a question to the leaders, asking, “are we working for a culture of life or a culture of death?” and emphasised that climate crises will only be solved through a global effort.

Concern for the environment and the impact of climate crises on humanity has been a pillar of Francis’ pontificate.

It was the focus of one of his first encyclicals Laudato si and has continued over the years in various Vatican initiatives, like the 2019 Synod of the Amazon, which is a region facing serious environmental threat.

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