Authored by: Maria Ivanova

Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138789579
eBook ISBN: 9781315764788
Adobe ISBN: 9781317655336


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In September 2015, Pope Francis addressed governments as they gathered at the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations (UN) to adopt a new action agenda, Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and a new set of global Sustainable Development Goals. He spoke at the UN General Assembly delivering a compelling call for transformation of our laws, values, and norms so that we ensure respect for the environment, elimination of exclusion, enhanced responsibility, and integral human development. He emphasized that “in all religions, the environment is a fundamental good,” that human beings are part of the environment and can only survive and develop if the environmental conditions are favorable, and that all living creatures have intrinsic value in their interdependence with other creatures (Francis I 2015). The impassioned call to care for our planet shaped the tone at the governmental summit. Leader after leader repeated Pope Francis’s call to tackle the environmental crisis and act to stem climate change. Religion and ecology and environmental policy and governance thus came together more clearly than ever as Pope Francis emphasized that “government leaders must do everything possible to ensure that all can have the minimum spiritual and material means needed to live in dignity,” including housing, employment, food and water, spiritual freedom, and education (Francis I 2015).

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