Helen Clark: on Pope Francis encyclical on the environment and the poorJun 18, 2015
I welcome Pope Francis' very important contribution to the climate change debate through his encyclical on the environment and the poor.
The poor and the marginalized in our societies are the ones who are the most vulnerable to climate change, and are also the ones hardest hit by its impacts.
UNDP works with developing countries to avoid what Pope Francis describes as an "economy of exclusion," and strives to enable progress and growth which benefits everyone.
As we look forward later this year to the creation of sustainable development goals and the expected climate change agreement, we must seize this once in a generation opportunity to chart a new course for sustainable development which benefits everyone and protects our planet.
Also today UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the papal encyclical and reaffirmed that "humanity has a significant obligation to care for and protect our common home, the planet Earth, and to show solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable members of society who are suffering most from climate impacts.” The Secretary-General urged governments to place the global common good above national interests and to adopt an ambitious, universal climate agreement in Paris this year.