Francis apologised to faithful in St Peter’s Square for showing up seven minutes late for his traditional noon appointment with the public.
Apparently referring to electric power, Francis said a “drop in tension” caused the lift to block.
He said Holy See firefighters rescued him and asked the people in the square to applaud them.
He also urged governments to show the “political will” to take drastic steps to deal with climate change and said it is time to abandon dependence on fossil fuels.
Francis issued the appeal in a message on Sunday, the start of several weeks of prayer by Christians to raise political awareness about pollution and exploitation of natural resources.
He also urged people to reflect on “thoughtful and harmful” daily decisions about consumption and “self-centred” attitudes towards Creation.
Francis said that at the UN Climate Action Summit later this month, “governments will have the responsibility of showing the political will to take drastic measures” to achieve as quickly as possible zero net greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the average increase in global temperature in line with the Paris climate accords.