Pope Francis pushes world leaders at United Nations to protect environment

In his speech, Pope Francis called on world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York to take firm action on the environment. In his words, he blames the "selfish and boundless thirst for power and material" for planetary destruction.

"We human beings are part of the environment, We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect. ... Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity."

His visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York is the fifth by a pope.

In Spanish, which is one of the six United Nations official languages, Francis greeted the citizens of all the nations represented in the hall before addressing the global dangers of unlimited power.

"The U.N. founding charter is based on the development and promotion of international law,". The pope also stated that "The limitation of power is an idea implicit in the concept of law itself. ... No human individual or group can consider itself absolute, permitted to bypass the dignity and the rights of other individuals or their social groupings."

On the environment, Francis said Christians and other religions believe man is supposed to take care of nature. "He is not authorized to abuse it, much less to destroy it."

United Nations has established targets for the post-2015 development agenda within 22 core issue areas. The first three are Air Pollution, Biodiversity and Climate Change.