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Pope Francis


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Civics, Justice

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

Our Moral Imperative to Act on Climate Change and 3 Steps We Can Take

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  • In this Ted Talk, Pope Francis delivers a speech describing our collective moral responsibility to act in the fight against climate change.
  • Pope Francis outlines three courses of action to address the global climate crisis, including recognizing that environmental problems and human needs are intertwined, focusing on access to water and nutrition for all, and transitioning to clean energy sources.
Teaching Tips


  • Students can listen to a religious leader describe the importance of taking action against climate change. 
  • A transcript of the Pope's speech is provided with a read-along feature.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should already have an understanding of climate change before watching this video.
  • The video is an English voiceover of the Pope's speech in Italian.
  • There may be an ad before the video.


  • Providing subtitles or a printed version of the transcript may be helpful for students.
  • Students in Social Studies classes can use this resource to talk about the shared responsibilities of world leaders and citizens to address the climate crisis or to analyze the effectiveness of the Pope's speech.
  • Pair this resource with this speech writing activity or this guided activity for creating a TED-style climate talk.
Scientist Notes
This 13-minute TED talk given by Pope Francis (dubbed in English) discusses the urgency of the climate crisis and the moral imperative for us to act. This resource touches on many topics including morality, ecology, economics, and politics. Three major approaches for addressing the climate crisis are outlined. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.10.9-12 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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