Pope Francis launches seven-year environmental sustainability plan through Catholic organizations

The goal of the Laudato Si Action Platform is to reduce waste and create a more sustainable environment in seven years.

Updated: May 26, 2021 - 11:47am

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A new initiative launched by Pope Francis on Tuesday will seek to make Catholic institutions worldwide – including universities and businesses – environmentally sustainable in the next seven years as the pope increasingly expresses climate change concerns. 

The "predatory attitude" must end, the pope said in a video introducing the ecological project Laudato Si Action Platform

"Today, these wounds are dramatically manifested in an unprecedented ecological crisis that affects the soil, air, water and, in general, the ecosystem in which human beings live," he also warned in Spanish.

To transform "the way humans inhabit the world" the initiative will take an aggressive ecological approach to combating climate change. The "seven-year journey" to more sustainable communities will have focus groups including families, parishes and diocese, schools and universities, hospitals and other health care facilities, businesses, lay Catholic organizations, and orders of priests and nuns, according to Reuters.

"We have a great responsibility, especially with regard to the future generations. What world do we want to leave to our children and our young? Our selfishness, our indifference and our irresponsible ways are threatening the future of our children," the pope also said.

Key areas of focus will include education and community involvement.

The pope said the new project is "responding to the cry of the Earth, responding to the cry of the poor, green economics, adopting a simple lifestyle, green education, green spirituality, and community engagement.”

Francis has been invited to attend the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Scotland, and a Vatican official said he will likely attend.

Meanwhile, the Vatican's fleet of vehicles will also undergo an upgrade with all new electric cars next year. Electric vehicle maker Fisker is providing the transportation, which uses recycled plastic bottles that have been recovered from the ocean for some features like the carpet.