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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Lamenting “economic and political resistance” to dealing with climate change, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday (Jan. 11) called on the world’s nations to reach an agreement on the matter by the end of 2010.
The pope’s statement was delivered as part of his annual address to foreign ambassadors.
Referring to last month’s United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, where political leaders failed to negotiate a way to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, Benedict said the summit offered evidence of “economic and political resistance to combating the degradation of the environment.”
“I trust that in the course of this year … it will be possible to reach an agreement for effectively dealing with (climate change),”
Benedict said. “The issue is all the more important in that the very future of some nations is at stake, particularly some island states.”
Many scientists say that man-made global warming is responsible for a dramatic rise in sea levels over recent years.
Benedict’s speech to the diplomatic corps, traditionally an occasion for surveying military and political conflicts around the world, focused this year on ecological concerns. Benedict had earlier devoted his annual World Day of Peace message to environmental concerns.
On Monday, the pope noted that the “struggle for access to natural resources is one of the causes of a number of conflicts, not least in Africa,” and that “such conflicts damage and degrade the environment.”
Benedict also repeated previous calls for nuclear disarmament; an end to terrorism; safety for Christians in the Middle East; a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and the “protection of human life, including the life of the unborn.”
— Francis X. Rocca
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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