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>> Pope Francis called on Thursday for concerted action against environmental degradation and climate change. Renewing his fierce attack on consumerism and financial greed which he said risked destroying the planet. This is Crispian Balmer for Reuters in the Vatican City.>>
> A year after publishing his first document on the environment, Pope Francis today, issued a new statement calling on Christians to make the defense of the environment a core part of their faith, adding that it should be a new act of mercy.
At present, there are seven acts of mercy that Christians are meant to follow. Six of them are written out in the bible, a seventh, to bury the dead, was included in the Middle Ages. So, hundreds of years later, Pope Francis has said it is time to act and add an additional act of mercy.
This one focusing on the environment and on protecting our planet, our home. He said that the global temperatures were rising. He warned that in 2016 there would be probably a new record for global temperatures. And he therefore said it was imperative for people not to lose sight of what was going on.
He said that even small things like switching off lights, recycling rubbish, going for carpools, would have an effect if everybody did it. So I think he was stressing the vital importance, as far as he sees it, for everybody to be involved in the defense of the planet. He is the first Pope who comes from a developing nation.
And I think it's fair to say that he has made the green agenda, ecologic affairs, really a key part of his papacy and I expect that we will be hearing more about this in the years ahead.