Pope Francis’ message for World Earth Day 2024 highlighted humanity’s shortcomings in environmental protection and peacekeeping. On social media, he said “our generation has bequeathed many riches, but we have failed to protect the planet and we are not safeguarding peace.”

During the Earth Day observance, initiated in 1970 to foster environmental consciousness, Pope Francis invoked his 2015 Encyclical Laudato si’. He said “we are called to become artisans and caretakers of our common home, the Earth which is ‘falling into ruin.'”

This year’s Earth Day theme focused on combating plastic pollution under the slogan “Planet vs. Plastics.” The campaign for Earth Day 2024 includes goals to phase out single-use plastics by 2030 and to achieve a significant reduction in plastic production by 2040.

According to Vatican News, the Pope’s comments aligned with initiatives like the United Nations drive to eliminate single-use plastics and UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, which seeks international cooperation to reduce plastic waste and mitigate the adverse effects of plastic on ecosystems and human health, aiming for a substantial decrease in overall plastic use.

Photo credit: DOERS / Shutterstock.com
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