Quantcast

On World Food Day, Pope Francis Says Link Between Climate Change and Hunger Is Undeniable

Food
FAO / Giulio Piscitelli

By Andrew McMaster

Speaking at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on World Food Day, Pope Francis addressed the need for governments around the world to acknowledge that climate change and migration were leading to increases in world hunger.

Francis received a standing ovation after a stirring speech in which he said all three issues were interrelated and require immediate attention.


"We are called to propose a change in lifestyle and the use of resources," Francis told the audience. "We cannot make do by saying 'someone else will do it.'"

The Catholic leader's words came on the heels of a recent UN report that showed an increase in people suffering from chronic hunger on account of climate change-related disasters and conflicts.

Global Citizen campaigns on the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including zero hunger and climate action. You can take action on these issues here.

For the first time in over a century, the number of chronically hungry people increased, rising by 38 million people between 2015 and 2016. The UN report noted that 815 million people fit the definition for chronic hunger in 2016, comprising about 11 percent of the world's population.

At the heart of this rise are climate change and human conflict, both of which drive food insecurity in poverty-stricken communities around the globe.

The Pope called on leaders to take immediate and cooperative efforts to reduce resource consumption and waste creation.

Greed and negligence on a planet with limited resources was harming the world's poorest people, Francis said. He warned against understanding these problems through the lens of pity, noting that pity "is limited to emergency aid."

Instead, Francis proposed an integrative solution based on love, solidarity and fraternity. Love is a powerful tool for good Francis said, because it "inspires justice and is essential to bring about a just social order."

In a visceral reminder to world leaders on just how devastating the effects of climate change and conflict caused migration can be, Francis commemorated his visit to the FAO by unveiling a marble statue of three-year old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian-Kurdish migrant who was found dead on the shores of Greece in 2015.

The statue depicts an angel wailing above the boy's corpse. The Vatican said the piece represents represents the tragedy of human migration.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Global Citizen.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Eating healthy can help you lose weight and have more energy.

Read More Show Less
arinahabich / Stock / Getty Images

By Sydney Swanson

With April hopping along and Easter just around the corner, it's time for dyeing eggs (and inadvertently, dyeing hands.) It's easy to grab an egg-dyeing kit at the local supermarket or drug store, but those dye ingredients are not pretty.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Aerial of farmland and mountains near Seaward Kaikoura Range in New Zealand. David Wall Photo / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images Plus

By Jordan Davidson

New Zealand's pristine image as a haven of untouched forests and landscapes was tarnished this week by a brand new government report. The Environment Aotearoa 2019 painted a bleak image of the island nation's environment and its future prospects.

Read More Show Less
heshphoto / Image Source / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Eating even "moderate" amounts of red and processed meat increases the risk of colon cancer, according to a new study of nearly half a million adults in the United Kingdom.

Read More Show Less
The view from the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan. Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Sierra Searcy

This week, progressive Democrats and youth advocates are launching a nationwide tour to win support for the Green New Deal. Though popular, the ambitious plan to tackle climate change has struggled to earn the endorsement of centrist Democrats in Rust Belt states like Michigan, the second stop on the tour.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mike Taube / Getty Images

If you are looking for something to do this Easter weekend, why not visit your nearest national park? All sites run by the National Park Service (NPS) will be free Saturday, April 20 as this year's National Park Week kicks off, USA Today reported.

Read More Show Less
A new EPA rule on asbestos does not say anything about the asbestos currently in the environment. Bob Allen / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new rule on asbestos Wednesday that it says will "close the door" on new, unapproved uses. But public health advocates warn the rule could actually open the door to increased use of the carcinogenic fibrous material.

Read More Show Less
A mountain woodland caribou bull in the Muskwa-Kechika Wilderness area in northern British Columbia, Canada. John E Marriott / All Canada Photos / Getty Images

It's heartening, in the midst of the human-caused sixth mass extinction, to find good wildlife recovery news. As plant and animal species disappear faster than they have for millions of years, Russia's Siberian, or Amur, tigers are making a comeback. After falling to a low of just a few dozen in the mid-20th century, the tigers now number around 500, with close to 100 cubs — thanks to conservation measures that include habitat restoration and an illegal hunting crackdown.

Read More Show Less