What do the Pope, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and 30 other world representatives have in common? Climate change.
The Vancouver Mayor will go to the Vatican on a two-day visit with Pope Francis on July 21. Out of 30 representatives from big cities in Europe, Africa, Asia and America, Vancouver’s mayor will be the only Canadian present.
Robertson says that his meeting with the Pope is intended to ramp up pressure on international governments to take action again climate change.
“The Pope recognizes that mayors play a key role in leading communities to a better future — we’re where the rubber hits the road in taking care of cities and we’ve largely been left out of the conversation,” said Robertson in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Robertson was invited despite the fact that he isn’t Catholic and doesn’t follow any sort of organized religion. But he says he was humbled by the invitation and understands why he was on the invite list.
“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 front lines of it and we’re committed to dealing with these challenges,” he said.
Pope Francis is an environmental advocate and has been very outspoken about the issues that society faces regarding climate change, consumption and the consequences that follow a hedonistic lifestyle.
Just last month, the Pope published a 184 page document titled called Laudato Si (Praised Be). He addresses it to every person on the planet and tackles global issues head-on.
“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” he writes. He states that our planet is in distress and calls international governments to take action.