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Pope Francis calls climate change deniers ‘fools’ in US TV interview

Pope Francis n St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican.
Pope Francis n St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican. Copyright AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Copyright AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
By Euronews Green
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The Pontiff has been outspoken on climate change over the last decade.

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Pope Francis has criticised “foolish” climate change deniers who don’t believe the evidence for human-caused global warming.

In his first interview on US television, the Pontiff reaffirmed his stance on the subject. When asked what he had to say to climate change deniers he spoke out against their disbelief of the evidence.

“There are people who are foolish and foolish even if you show them research, they don’t believe it,” he said.

“Why? They don’t understand the situation or because of their interest, but climate change exists.”

He spoke with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell at the Vatican about a number of important topics including climate change and violence in Ukraine and Gaza.

What does Pope Francis think about climate change?

Pope Francis has been outspoken on climate issues over the last decade.

In 2015, he published a 180-page official document known as an encyclical or pastoral letter, on the environment. It called for rich countries to step up, stop the exploitation of nature and pay their “grave social debt” while laying out the scientific evidence for man-made climate change. 

The encyclical was published six months ahead of the UN climate change conference where the pivotal 2015 Paris Agreement was made. This paved the way for the Vatican to start having a bigger presence at these annual meetings leading to stronger commitments from many Catholic countries.

Since then he has continued to call for action, declaring a climate emergency in 2019 and pleading with world leaders at COP28 to make a breakthrough on fossil fuels. He published a treatise ahead of the climate conference that read, “With the passage of time, I have realised that our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing breaking point.”

On Monday - Earth Day - the Pope took to social media with a post echoing his past sentiments on the topic.

“Our generation has bequeathed many riches, but we have failed to protect the planet and we are not safeguarding peace,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We are called to become artisans and caretakers of our common home, the Earth which is ‘falling into ruin’.”

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