Pope Francis is putting the weight of the Vatican firmly behind an international climate deal, telling global governments that they have a moral duty to fight climate change.
In a hotly anticipated document titled "Laudato Si', On the Care of Our Common Home," Francis called Thursday for a "bold cultural revolution" over how people treat the world.
"There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself," he wrote.
The Pope's message ties climate change to poverty and the consumer culture. The encyclical—the highest form of a papal teaching—highlights the impact that climate change is having on the world's poor, saying that the Third World is feeling the greatest burden from the extreme weather and global warming caused by consumption from developed nations.
The 184-page document is meant to influence negotiators heading into United Nations climate-change talks in Paris at the end of the year, pressuring the United States and the rest of the developed world to enact policies that will reduce carbon emissions.
Without action, the encyclical says, the world faces an "unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us."
In his weekly audience Wednesday, Francis, the first Pope from the developing world, said the document was "for everyone" and summed up the message by saying, "Our 'home' is being ruined, and this hurts everyone, especially the poorest among us."