Energy & Environment

World mayors talk climate change with Pope Francis


Mayors of about 60 world cities, including some from the United States, are set to meet with Pope Francis on Tuesday to urge swift action on climate change. 

The mayors are at the Vatican this week to discuss climate issues and human trafficking. They will sign a pledge calling for an international deal to confront global warming at a United Nations summit later this year, the Associated Press reports.

{mosads}The declaration says, in part, that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality and its effective control is a moral imperative for humanity,” according to the AP.

The declaration also calls for government policies focused on shifting away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources. It says leaders have a “special responsibility” to approve a climate agreement at the UN’s talks in Paris this December.

“The Paris summit is just months away,” New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said at the summit. “We need to see it as the finish line of a sprint, and take every local action we can in the coming months to maximize the chance that our national governments will act boldly.”

Pope Francis will meet with the mayors on Tuesday. Francis has become one of the highest-profile voices for action on climate change on a global scale, releasing a landmark papal encyclical last month blaming human action for climate change and urging officials to craft a plan to combat it. 

The Vatican has worked with the UN ahead of its climate conference, and during a visit to the United States this fall, Francis will likely use a speech to Congress to push for more action on climate change.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is also at the conference, as are mayors from Boston, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Minneapolis, Boulder, Colo., and elsewhere.

“I will walk out of here knowing even more deeply how interrelated and intertwined poverty and climate change are,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges tweeted from the Vatican on Tuesday.

“‘Enviro justice’ isn’t sidebar [for] main work of combatting/responding [to] climate change; it’s intrinsic to every bit of the work.”

Tags Betsy Hodges Bill de Blasio Climate change Pope Francis
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