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Dalai Lama Endorses Pope Francis's Encyclical on Climate Change

Climate

The Dalai Lama endorsed the Pope's encyclical on climate change yesterday while speaking at Glastonbury festival, a massive five-day festival that takes place in Somerset, England. The Buddhist leader spoke at a panel on climate change, praising the encyclical and saying it was the duty of everyone to "say more. We have to make more of an effort, including demonstrations.”

Several Republican politicians have criticized the Pope for speaking out about environmental and economic issues, including Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum and James Inhofe. But at the Glastonbury panel on climate change, the Dalai Lama said Pope Francis was "very right," and he appreciated him releasing the papal document. The Dalai Lama called on fellow religious leaders to “speak out about current affairs which affect the future of mankind.” He also called for increased pressure on governments around the world to stop burning fossil fuels, end deforestation and transition to renewable energy sources, reports The Guardian.

He also emphasized that words alone are not enough top stop climate change. “It is not sufficient to just express views, we must set a timetable for change in the next two to four years.”

The Tibetan spiritual leader also spoke about the need to end war, calling the concept of war "outdated." The Dalai Lama said we need to shift our focus to launch a global effort to tackle climate change. "Countries think about their own national interest rather than global interests and that needs to change because the environment is a global issue."

He also stressed that everyone needs to take action even on an individual level to reduce their impact. To end the holy leader's visit, Singer Patti Smith presented the Dalai Lama, who turns 80 today, with a birthday cake and led the crowd in singing happy birthday to him.  

Watch the Dalai Lama speak at the Glastonbury's panel discussion:

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