ROME – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has praised the mediating role played by Pope Francis, and after participating as the only head of state in an environmental forum sponsored by the United Nations and the Vatican, promoted his own policies to fight climate change.
After his second private hearing with the Pope, Correa told Efe and Vatican Radio that the “moral authority of the Pope, his leadership, is immense” when he mediates in international conflicts.
“I think that there may be a lot of space for such mediations,” he said.
“In particular, what he achieved between Cuba and the United States, that is historic,” acknowledged Correa.
“In any case, my immense gratitude to the Holy Father for this opportunity to meet again,” Correa continued.
“We talked about the workshop on climate change, the new encyclical and his next visit to Ecuador,” Correa said in an interview after meeting the Pope.
Correa emphasized the need to “produce more with less energy, with the minimum of resources” after participating in an international forum at the Vatican called “Protect the earth, dignify humanity”.
In his speech at the forum, Correa argued that most environmental damage, caused by rich countries, should raise the possibility of developing countries being compensated, to better ensure the planet’s conservation.
Correa used his country’s request for compensation from the international community to preserve the oil beneath the Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorean Amazon, to illustrate his position on climate change.
The leader said that although the project is yet to receive widespread backing, the arguments in favour are impeccable as “it is about environmental justice.”