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Pope calls for world to abandon fossil fuels

September 24, 2022

The pontiff spoke to 1,000 young economists and entrepreneurs in Assisi in central Italy, calling for a just and inclusive world economy.

Pope Francis speaking into a microphone and holding a printed speech
Pope Francis called for a shift away from fossil fuels in a speech in central Italy directed towards young economists and entrepreneursImage: Gregorio Borgia/AP/picture alliance

Pope Francis on Saturday called for the world to abandon fossil fuels while speaking in the town of Assisi in central Italy.

The hill town, located in the region of Umbria, is the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, from whom the pontiff born Jorge Mario Bergoglio took his papal name.

Pope Francis spoke to a gathering of around 1,000 young people organized by the Economy of Francesco initiative. Among the people attending the gathering were young economists and people involved in startups geared toward helping the environment.

What did Pope Francis say?

"Now is the time for new courage in abandoning fossil fuels to accelerate the development of zero- or positive-impact sources of energy," Francis said.

"There are many people, businesses and institutions that are making an ecological conversion. We need to go forward on this road and do more," he added.

"Our generation has left you with a rich heritage, but we have not known how to protect the planet and are not securing peace," he said, addressing young people.

"We are grateful to God that you are here. Not only will you be here tomorrow, but you are here today."

Pope Francis called for a just, sustainable and inclusive world economy, which he said was "not a utopia," and which needed to go beyond "cosmetic changes." He called this an "economy of the Gospel."

As well as his better-known association with the poor, Saint Francis later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis called for an end to the war in Ukraine during a visit to Kazakhstan.

sdi/msh (AP, KNA)