World

UN chief praises pope for framing climate change as moral imperative, says encyclical

  • Pope Francis shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting at the Vatican, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The U.N. chief praised Pope Francis on Tuesday for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting at the Vatican, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The U.N. chief praised Pope Francis on Tuesday for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting at the Vatican, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The U.N. chief praised Pope Francis on Tuesday for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting at the Vatican, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The U.N. chief praised Pope Francis on Tuesday for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Vatican, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The U.N. chief praised Pope Francis on Tuesday for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Vatican, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The U.N. chief praised Pope Francis on Tuesday for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. chief has praised Pope Francis for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of U.N. climate talks in Paris provide an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened a Vatican conference on the environment Tuesday that is a key part of the Holy See's rollout of Francis' eagerly awaited encyclical, which is expected in June.

Ban told Vatican officials and faith leaders from several different traditions that there is large consensus between religious leaders and scientists that climate change is real, that humans must change their behavior to stop it and that "protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and sacred duty for all people of faith and conscience."