Story at a glance

  • President-elect Joe Biden and Pope Francis on Thursday discussed “shared beliefs” that Biden plans to adhere to over the course of his presidency, including taking on the climate crisis.
  • Biden has laid out a bold agenda aimed at tackling climate change that includes rejoining the Paris climate agreement on the first day of his presidency and spending more than $2 trillion on shifting the U.S. from fossil fuels to renewable energy and green jobs.
  • Pope Francis has been consistently outspoken on climate change issues and has pushed world leaders to do more to confront the crisis.

Pope Francis on Thursday became the latest in a series of world leaders who congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory in the 2020 presidential election. 

According to a readout of the phone call released by the Biden transition team, the two discussed “shared beliefs” that Biden plans to adhere to over the course of his presidency, including taking on the climate crisis. 


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“The President-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” the readout of the call said. 

“The President-elect expressed his desire to work together on the basis of a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalized and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”

Biden, who will become the second Catholic president behind former President John F. Kennedy, has laid out a bold agenda aimed at tackling climate change that includes rejoining the Paris climate agreement on the first day of his presidency and spending more than $2 trillion on shifting the U.S. from fossil fuels to renewable energy and green jobs. 

World leaders have welcomed Biden’s victory as a boost to global cooperation to fight climate change, in contrast to President Trump who has questioned climate science and made the decision to pull the U.S. from the 2015 agreement. Last week, the U.S. officially became the only nation in the world to leave the international climate accord. 

Francis has consistently been outspoken on climate change issues and called on world leaders to take more action to confront them. In a 2015 papal encyclical, Francis called for a transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to curb climate change and environmental degradation. 

More recently, Francis said in September the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a crossroads and urged societies to work together to restore the land and live more sustainably. 


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Published on Nov 12, 2020