Video: 'Pope Francis wants an ambitious and equitable climate agreement'
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Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said Thursday that although a new global climate deal was within sight, he wondered how ambitious it would be.
special correspondent at the COP21 climate conference
Auza, who has brought the Vatican's message of solidarity to the COP21 conference in Paris, said his various meetings with country delegations in the past two weeks led him to believe an international agreement would be on the table and signed by all parties on December 11.
"I think there is a universal willingness for compromise. It is my reading that all countries have the intention of signing an accord. The question on everybody's mind is, how ambitious will it be?"
Auza said Pope Francis was hoping for an ambitious agreement that would see developed countries provide significant funds to poorer ones, thus allowing them to reach both economic development goals, and implement emissions-cutting measures.
Among other points under discussion, he said the church wanted an article on "losses and damages" – which could help poor countries seek financial compensation for natural disasters – to be preserved in the final text.
The archbishop said many countries, especially in Latin America, had drawn inspiration from the pontiff's encyclical Laudato si' [Medieval Italian for Praise Be to You] in crafting the climate action strategies they brought to Paris.
He also expressed hope the Vatican would in the near future sign onto the UN's climate convention and eventually submit their own emissions-cutting contributions.