3 Key Climate Takeaways from the Mayors’ Vatican Visit

Upon meeting with Pope Francis to discuss trafficking and climate change, a coalition of mayors from across the world have pledged to take action on global warming. In an overwhelming show of solidarity, the 60 mayors unanimously signed onto a declaration—promising to implement ambitious climate policies in their home cities.

Cities are major drivers of climate change, responsible for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. This puts mayors in a unique position to combat climate change, making it no wonder Pope Francis has turned to them for support.

The conference consisted of 3 key elements:

  1. Moving past the science: The mayors signed a pledge affirming that climate change science is settled, the primary cause is human activity, and the focus of attention must be on action.
  2. Outlining the moral dimensions: The mayors and Pope Francis made the case for action based on moral and ethical considerations. Climate action will empower and improve communities and the lives of people today and into the future.
  3. Taking action: The mayors in attendance outlined actions they have already implemented with success. They pledged to do more, and Pope Francis called for investments to help local and regional governments transition to sustainable energy and development.

This threefold approach, fueled by the Pope’s enthusiasm and global star power, should help accelerate action on climate change—especially at the city and community level. 

World mayors at Vatican urge ‘bold climate agreement’

By Nicole Winfield | WiscNews | July 21, 2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Mayors from around the world declared Tuesday that climate change is real, man-made and must be stopped as a matter of moral imperative, gathering at the Vatican to announce new measures to fight global warming and bask in Pope Francis’ ecological star power.

The Vatican invited the 60 mayors to a two-day conference to keep up pressure on world leaders ahead of U.N. climate negotiations in Paris later this year. The meeting also aimed to promote Francis’ environment encyclical, which denounced what he calls a fossil fuel-based world economy that exploits the poor and destroys the Earth.

One by one, the mayors lined up to sign a final declaration stating that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality and its effective control is a moral imperative for humanity.”

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