2015 the ‘last effective opportunity’ to safely limit warming, says Vatican conference statement

The Washington Post reports: Following a closely watched Vatican climate change meeting Tuesday at the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, the attendees — including not only scientific leaders but also religious and political luminaries — have released a statement (PDF here) suggesting that a 2015 climate accord may be the last chance to keep global warming within a range deemed “safe” for the world, its people and its ecosystems.

Meeting attendees included U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Cardinal Peter Turkson, who heads the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs. The event is widely seen as a kind of prelude to a much anticipated papal encyclical expected this summer, in which Pope Francis will address the environment and humanity’s moral responsibility to care for it.

For now, the conference statement declares that “Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity.” And it points very directly at an unfolding international process for addressing it, suggesting that this process must succeed — at the end of this year. [Continue reading…]

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