Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson is expected to meet Pope Francis at a climate conference at the Vatican July 21. Photo/Flickr via BCNDP []

Vancouver mayor to meet Pope at climate conference

By  Agnieszka Krawczynski, Canadian Catholic News
  • July 19, 2015

VANCOUVER - Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is to meet with Pope Francis July 21 to discuss climate change.

Robertson is expected to be the only Canadian delegate to meet the pontiff during a two-day visit to Vatican City with about 30 city leaders from around the globe.

“It’s telling that the Pope is reaching out to mayors as part of his direct-action agenda to tackle climate action and poverty, because we’re on the frontlines of it,” Robertson said. “We’re where the rubber hits the road in taking care of cities, and we’ve largely been left out of the conversation.”

He said he will share stories about local efforts to make Vancouver a greener city.

The two-day meeting begins July 21, a month after Pope Francis released his encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.

In it, Pope Francis wrote about the urgent “ecological crisis” and called for immediate action to take care of the environment.

“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are at present witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system,” he writes.

“Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption in order to combat this warming, or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”

Pope Francis keeps an eye on the poor and the vulnerable throughout the document.

“The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation. In fact, the deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet.”

Robertson has praised the Pope for taking a stand on this issue.

“I think the Pope’s leadership is fantastic and much needed from an important religious leader on what is essentially a moral issue and the toughest challenge in human history,” said Robertson.

(B.C. Catholic)

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