At the annual meeting with Vatican diplomatic corps the Pope has criticised the failure by world leaders to agree to a new climate change treaty in Copenhagen last month.
Benedict XVI told nearly 100 ambassadors accredited to the Vatican that world leaders had a continuing responsibility towards preserving God's creation.
December's summit in Denmark failed to create a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The Pope said the issue was particularly critical for island nations, and also for the African continent where the battle for resources and increasing desertification has led to armed conflicts.
"To cultivate peace, one must protect creation," he insisted.
He also called upon armed groups of whatever kind to choose the path of peace.
"Terrorism endangers countless innocent lives and generates widespread anxiety," said the 82-year-old Pope.
The German pontiff also said that laws which ignore the difference between the sexes - such as the legalisation of same-sex marriages - were an attack on creation.
Countries which have recently passed such legislation include predominantly Catholic states such as Portugal, which the Pope plans to visit later in the year, and Argentina.
BBC News has contributed to the report.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969