Pope Francis is taking on climate change in a leaked draft of a papal letter, known as an encyclical, to be published on Thursday, in which he couches climate change as a moral issue and one of wealth inequality.
The pope says wealthier countries have to help developing ones in dealing with the problem.
“Once the encyclical letter comes out, then priests all around the world are going to work it into their sermon,” says Andrew Hoffman, professor of sustainable enterprise at the University of Michigan.
“Right now, the primary messengers on climate change are democratic politicians, environmentalists and scientists. And we need more messengers from different domains,” Hoffman says. “The pope coming forward can make a moral argument where others can’t.”
The letter’s timing is important. About 200 countries plan to meet at the end of the year to sign a new climate change agreement. The pope wants to influence that process.
In his letter, the pope appears to be against carbon credits — a financial instrument that puts a price on air pollution. In his letter, the pope argues carbon credits could “give rise to a new form of speculation.”
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.