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Pope Francis rebukes ‘irresponsible’ USA on climate change compared to China, says world’s at ‘breaking point’

By Danielle Wallace Fox News

Pope Francis issued a new call for climate change action on Wednesday, when he slammed the United Stated in particular as “irresponsible” on emissions compared to China.

“The world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point,” the pope wrote in the 12-page “Laudate Deum,” which means “Praise God” in Latin.

“If we consider that emissions per individual in the United States are about two times greater than those of individuals living in China, and about seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries, we can state that a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact,” he wrote.

After taking square aim at the United States, Francis heightened the alarm about the “irreversible” harm to people and the planet already underway and lamented that once again, the world’s poor and most vulnerable are paying the highest price. The pope said, “The necessary transition towards clean energy sources such as wind and solar energy, and the abandonment of fossil fuels, is not progressing at the necessary speed.”

The document comes as an update to Pope Francis’ landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment titled “Laudato Si,” meaning “Praise Be.” In that 180-page encyclical, the head of the Catholic Church notably scolded climate change deniers and called for an “ecological conversion” among the faithful.

In “Laudate Deum,” Francis praised the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for evoking “Laudato Si” this year in affirming, “our care for one another and our care for the earth are intimately bound together. Climate change is one of the principal challenges facing society and the global community. The effects of climate change are borne by the most vulnerable people, whether at home or around the world.”

The new document was released on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the pontiff’s nature-loving namesake, and was aimed at spurring negotiators to commit to binding climate targets at the next round of United Nations talks in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Using scientific data, sharp diplomatic arguments and a sprinkling of theological reasoning, Francis delivered a moral imperative for the world to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy with measures that are “efficient, obligatory and readily monitored.”