Pope Francis has called on the United States to be “more open-minded” on climate issues and for the world to adopt more “creative solutions” that can “change the current climate crisis.”
Francis, who took the helm of the Catholic Church on Thursday, made the remarks during a trip to Mexico City, where he met with indigenous leaders.
The pope also met with representatives from the Indigenous People’s Movement, which seeks to halt the mining of the land.
“The world is not only being impacted by the impacts of climate change, it is also being affected by a lack of creative solutions,” Francis said.
“In this spirit, I urge the United Nations to take the lead in addressing the problems and challenges of climate.
And the international community, especially the United Kingdom, should consider taking a more open-hearted position.”
In a recent interview with the AP, the pope said the Church should “open up the dialogue” between the United State and other countries and the world in order to avoid the “clash of civilizations.”
“The United States and other Western countries are not always the best people to be discussing issues like this, especially with countries like China and India that have a much more assertive position,” Francis told the AP.
“But I think we have to be open-eyed and be able to find solutions to this.”
He said the pope “hopes that this will be the year when the U.N. becomes the world’s biggest forum for discussions on climate and sustainable development.”
“This is going to be the start of a new chapter for the international dialogue on climate,” Francis added.
The pope has also called on Christians to be willing to sacrifice for the poor and for others who are struggling.
The Pope’s trip comes at a time of renewed pressure on Catholic churches to take a more proactive role in the fight against climate change.
A recent survey found that half of American Catholics say the church should “become more active in supporting those who suffer the effects of climate chaos.”
“We need to have an awareness that these are not only economic issues.
Climate change is not just about money, it’s also about the health of people, the economy, the environment,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told the Associated Press in an interview last month.”
I don’t think we need to hide behind a facade of the pope.
I think the pope is calling for change, he’s calling for an open-heart,” Cordileon added.