Popes New Year Speech where he urges greener lifestyle to save the planet
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Pope Benedict XVI used his traditional New Year address to call for a revolution in personal lifestyles in order to safeguard the future of the planet.

 


He said people needed to change how they live their lives and called for "ecological responsibility" to be taught in schools.

The Pope said individuals and families had as important a role to play in preserving the environment as governments meeting at international summits such as the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen last month.

He told thousands of faithful who had gathered in St Peter's Square that environmental responsibility was essential for global peace.

"I would like to underline the importance of the choices of individuals, families and local administrations in preserving the environment.

"An objective shared by all, an indispensable condition for peace, is that of overseeing the earth's natural resources with justice and wisdom," he said.

Calling for an end to war and in particular the suffering of children, the 82-year-old, German-born pontiff said there was "a close link" between respect for mankind and respect for nature.

Last month, in a message sent to heads of state and international organisations, Benedict called on rich nations to acknowledge responsibility for the environmental crisis and to rein in consumerism.

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