Pope implicitly criticizes U.S. for leaving Paris climate accord

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis implicitly criticized the United States on Monday for pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change, praising it as a means to control the devastating effects of global warming.

The United States is the only country out of 195 signatories to have withdrawn from the accord, which aims to cut emissions blamed for the rise in temperatures.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the decision in June shortly after visiting the pope, a strong supporter of the deal. At the time a Vatican official said the move was a "slap in the face" for the pope and the Vatican.

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President Donald Trump meets Pope Francis
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/pool
Pope Francis exchange gifts with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/pool
U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania, and the U.S. delegation pose with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump stands next to Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
Pope Francis (C) walks past US First Lady Melania Trump (R) and the daughter of US President Donald Trump Ivanka Trump (L) at the end of a private audience at the Vatican on May 24, 2017. US President Donald Trump met Pope Francis at the Vatican today in a keenly-anticipated first face-to-face encounter between two world leaders who have clashed repeatedly on several issues. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra Tarantino (Photo credit should read ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man raises a U.S. flag minutes before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24: US President Donald Trump arrives to meet Pope Francis, on May 24, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24 : U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania (R) arrive at the Vatican for their audience with Pope Francis, on May 24, 2017. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24: US President Donald Trump is welcomed by the prefect of the papal household Georg Gaenswein as he arrives at the Apostolic Palace for an audience with Pope Francis on May 24, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. The president will return to Italy on Friday, attending the Group of 7 summit in Sicily. Trump will also visit American troops stationed in at a US air base in Sicily. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)
Archibishop Georg Ganswein escorts U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump who arrive to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump arrives to meet Pope Francis for a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin after a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania talk with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
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"We see consequences of climate change every day," the pope said in an address to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at its headquarters in Rome.

"Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how we have to confront the problem and the international community has also worked out the legal methods, such as the Paris Accord, which sadly, some have abandoned," he said.

Under the deal, United States had committed to reducing its own emissions by 26 to 28 percent, compared with 2005 levels, by 2025. Many world leaders have criticized Trump for deciding to pull out.

In his Spanish-language address to the U.N. agency, Francis denounced "negligence toward the delicate equilibriums of the ecosystems, the presumption of manipulating and controlling the limited resources of the planet, and the greed for profit."

Agriculture ministers and diplomats from the Group of Seven (G7) world power nations attended the gathering, which marked FAO's World Food Day.

"We can't be satisfied by saying 'someone else will do it,'" the pope said.

Ending local conflicts and curbing the effects of climate change were two of the "prerequisites" for dealing with world food security, Francis also said.

"The yoke of poverty caused by the often tragic movement of migrants can be removed by prevention, consisting of development projects that create jobs and offer the capacity to respond to climactic and environmental changes," he said.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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