Pope Francis calls for "urgent" climate action in bold speech

Rome, Italy - As heatwaves, floods, and wildfires ravage parts of the globe, Pope Francis called on world leader to do more to combat climate change.

Pope Francis appealed to world leaders during his speech in Rome on Sunday "to do something more concrete to limit polluting emissions."
Pope Francis appealed to world leaders during his speech in Rome on Sunday "to do something more concrete to limit polluting emissions."  © Collage: Tiziana FABI / AFP

"We are experiencing, here and in many countries, extreme climatic events," the leader of the Catholic Church told worshippers on Sunday after the traditional Angelus prayer in St Peter's Square in Rome.

"Please, I renew my appeal to the leaders of nations to do something more concrete to limit polluting emissions. It is an urgent challenge and cannot be postponed, it concerns everyone. Let us protect our common home!" Pope Francis told the roughly 20,000 faithful gathered in the square.

Pope Francis specifically mentioned the recent floods in South Korea.

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Italy and much of southern Europe have also been hit by repeated heatwaves in recent days, and wildfires forced the evacuation of thousands from the Greek island of Rhodes on Sunday.

The southern US is current experiencing a record-breaking heat wave and pollution from wildfires, as scientists warn July will likely be the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

Pope Francis on Sunday also recalled the plight of thousands of migrants who have been stuck in the deserts of North Africa for weeks. European and African governments must take care of these people, he said.

"The Mediterranean should no longer be a scene of death and inhumanity," the pontiff said.

Cover photo: Collage: Tiziana FABI / AFP

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