Pope Benedict XVI appealed for the success of the climate change talks that are opening Nov. 28 in Durban, South Africa. Speaking to the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Benedict said, "I hope that all members of the international community agree on a responsible and credible response to this worrisome and complex phenomenon, taking into account the needs of the poorest and future generations."
The 84-year-old German pope has voiced increasing concern about protecting the environment in his encyclicals, during foreign trips, speeches to diplomats and in his annual peace message. Under Benedict's watch, the Vatican has installed photovoltaic cells on its main auditorium to convert sunlight into electricity and has joined a reforestation project aimed at offsetting its CO2 emissions.
For the pontiff, "being green" is a moral issue: Church teaching holds that man must respect creation because it's destined for the benefit of humanity's future. He has argued that climate change and natural catastrophes threaten people's rights to life, food, health and ultimately peace.