The world’s top Christian leaders have joined forces to issue a stark warning that climate change is threatening the future of the planet.
Orthodox leader Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew joined Pope Francis and archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to issue their first-ever joint statement.
“We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations,” the three clerics write in the statement.
“The extreme weather and natural disasters of recent months reveal afresh to us with great force and at great human cost that climate change is not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival.”
They agree that climate change and global warming are at least partially caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
“This is the first time that the three of us feel compelled to address together the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation,” they wrote.
“We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure,” the message said.
The Pope has frequently cited Bartholomew’s teachings on the environment in his encyclical from 2015.
The statement follows Europe’s warmest summer on record this year, including the record-breaking heatwave which fuelled Greece’s wildfires, in the lead up to the UN climate summit COP26 later this year.
The Pope is expected to attend the summit, while Bartholomew’s office hasn’t yet responded to an email about his plans to attend the conference, according to Ekathimerini.