Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
06/18/2015 - Pope Francis’ much anticipated encyclical “Laudato Si” on inequality and the environment mirrors not only religious insights but also the findings of climate science. “Not the poor but the wealthy are putting our planet, and ultimately humanity, at risk,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), at the presentation of the encyclical in the Vatican today. “Those who profited least from the exploitation of fossil fuels and contributed least to greenhouse-gas emissions are hit hardest by global warming impacts, unless we strongly reduce emissions.” Schellnhuber is the only scientist who has been invited to speak, alongside Cardinal Peter Turkson.
In the run-up to the encyclical, Schellnhuber participated in a number of workshops organized by the highly renowned Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which made him its member on Wednesday. The document now issued by the leader of more than one billion Catholics around the world is expected to be an important signal on the road to a global agreement on emissions reductions and eventually a full decarbonization of the world economy which will be negotiated by governments at the world climate summit in Paris later this year.