The two-day summit also featured speeches by 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who launched the R20 climate initiative

Thunberg said that “for too long the people in power… have gotten away with stealing our future and selling it for profit.”

“We are not going to let you get away with it anymore,” she said.

Schwarzenegger, in his remarks, praised young people like Thunberg who are school-striking and otherwise mobilizing to demand swift climate action.

“Their vision should lead us to action,” said Schwarzenegger.

Their comments came a day after the Pope spoke to a group of financial ministers from around the world and urged them to back the goals of the Paris climate accord. “We must achieve what we have agreed upon, for our survival and well-being depend on it.”

Among the worrisome signs he pointed to are that “Investments in fossil fuels continue to rise, even though scientists tell us that fossil fuels should remain underground.”

Like the U.N.’s Guterres, the pontiff referenced the increasingly frequent extreme weather events, which he said “are only a dire premonition of things much worse to come, unless we act and act urgently.”

Among the tasks the Pope said the financial ministers should take are “to put an end to global dependency on fossil fuels” and “to open a new chapter of clean and safe energy, that utilizes, for example, renewable resources such as wind, sun and water.”

“Time is of the essence,” Pope Francis added. “We await your decisive action for the sake of all humanity.”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *