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Pope Francis with CBS' Norah O'Donnell.CBS News

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis has stated that the world is at “a point of no return” regarding climate change and is now on “a road to death.”

“Unfortunately, we have gotten to a point of no return,” Pope Francis told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell when asked for his concerns about “climate change.”

“It’s sad, but that’s what it is,” Francis said during an interview aired in full May 20. “Global warming is a serious problem. Climate change at this moment is a road to death. A road to death, eh?” 

Continuing, he attested that the changing climate is “an artificial climate change, no? Something provoked, not the normal climate change, right?”

Francis has often invoked the term “ecological debt,” taking aim at wealthy or Western nations for disproportionately impacting “climate change.” This was noted by O’Donnell querying why Francis “placed blame on wealthy countries.”

“In great measure, yes, because they are the ones that have more of an economy and an energy based on fossil fuels that are creating this situation, right,” Francis said. 

While not naming any counties in particular, he generalized, saying that wealthy countries are those “that can make the most difference, given their industry.”

But it is very difficult to create an awareness of this. They hold a conference, everybody is in agreement, they all sign, and then bye-bye. But we have to be very clear, global warming is alarming.

A short clip of the interview conducted in April was released at the time, in which Francis criticized climate change skeptics as being “foolish.” 

READ: Pope Francis: ‘Deniers of climate change’ are ‘foolish’

“There are people who are foolish, and foolish even if you show them research, they don’t believe it,” Francis responded when asked about “deniers of climate change.”

“Why? Because they don’t understand the situation or because of their interest, but climate change exists,” he critiqued.

The Argentine pontiff has made the topic of climate change or environmentalism one of the central ones of this 11-year pontificate, issuing two key texts in doing so: Laudato Si’ in 2015 and Laudate Deum in 2023. 

In Laudate Deum, he issued stark calls for “obligatory” measures across the globe to address the issue of “climate change.”

READ: Pope Francis calls for obligatory global ‘climate change’ policies in new document ‘Laudate Deum’

“It is no longer possible to doubt the human – ‘anthropic’ – origin of climate change,” the Pontiff wrote before later calling for mandatory alignment with “green” policies:

If there is sincere interest in making COP28 a historic event that honors and ennobles us as human beings, then one can only hope for binding forms of energy transition that meet three conditions: that they be efficient, obligatory and readily monitored.

Despite denigrating such high-level meetings during his CBS interview, Francis had been due to attend the COP28 climate conference in Dubai last November in what would have been the culmination of his climate activism. However, due to ill health, he had to cancel the trip less than two days before he had intended to leave.

After many years of climate alarmism rhetoric from the Pontiff, in 2022 the Vatican officially joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the pro-abortion Paris Climate Agreement. 

His actions have disregarded long-standing and repeated concerns from pro-life and family advocates, who continually warned about the climate activism movement’s alignment with pro-abortion and population control advocates and lobby groups.

The Pope defended the controversial move of joining the Paris Agreement, saying that “she (‘Mother Earth’) weeps and implores us to put an end to our abuses and to her destruction.”

READ: Arctic sea ice just reached its highest level in 21 years, and it’s going largely unnoticed

Yet, Francis has previously been corrected by scientists who say the “Pope is getting terrible advice from some exalted churchmen who are seriously deficient in scientific knowledge.” While echoing Francis’ concerns that nature should not be treated with wanton disregard, independent climate researchers Tomas Sheahen and Hal Doiron warned that the Vatican was weighing into a debate on which it did not have the necessary expertise.

READ: New documentary exposes climate agenda as ‘scam’ to increase globalist power and profit

“The correct answer is clearly not a settled science on which Pope Francis can confidently rely for the definition of when CO2 emissions become a sin,” Doiron told LifeSiteNews in 2016. 

Sheahen suggested that under Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican advisers responsible “made sure that both sides of the climate story were heard.” 

“Martino (Cardinal Renato Martino was head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences under Benedict) understood that there really is a scientific controversy going on, and hence you saw no sweeping Vatican pronouncements in those years. Benedict XVI’s staff understood and respected the proper role of science.

In recent days and since giving his CBS interview, Francis issued a call for a “global financial charter” at the service of reducing “ecological debt,” in passages reminiscent of the passages of Laudate Deum.

READ: Pope Francis calls for ‘global financial charter’ at Vatican climate change conference

“There is a need to develop a new financial architecture capable of responding to the demands of the Global South and of the island states that have been seriously affected by climate catastrophes,” Francis said at a conference run by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.