Catholic World News

Mayors of major cities, California governor to attend Vatican conference on climate change

July 15, 2015

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, took part in a July 15 press conference on an upcoming Vatican workshop on “Modern Slavery and Climate Change: the Commitment of the Cities” (July 21) and symposium on “Prosperity, People, and Planet: Achieving Sustainable Development in Our Cities.”

The prelate said that the idea of inviting mayors arose from a conversation with police chiefs on combating human trafficking.

“The police chiefs stressed the importance of having the bishops support their moral commitment towards the poorest of the poor,” said Bishop Sánchez Sorondo. “However, they also pointed out that they report not to the bishops but to the governors, and in many cases to the mayors. Following their advice, we have thus tried to bring together the mayors to determine the best practices to mitigate climate change and eradicate modern slavery.”

“The world now has within reach the scientific knowledge, technological tools and financial means to reverse anthropogenic climate change, while ending extreme poverty at the same time through solutions that include renewable and low carbon emission energy sources,” he added, as he called for “a redistribution of public spending from military expenditure towards urgent investments for the benefit of social inclusion and the effective monitoring of carbon emissions.”

The list of participants includes over 50 mayors from some of the world’s major cities, including Rome, Florence, Milan, Tehran, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Paris, and Madrid, as well as a handful of other officials such as Governor Jerry Brown of California.

Mayors from the United States who will attend include the majors of Birmingham, Boston, Boulder, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 16, 2015 2:17 AM ET USA

    The world has always had the means to end slavery and greed. What has been lacking is the moral and political will. U.S. air is cleaner, lakes and rivers less polluted, and the ground less contaminated than at any other time in the industrial age. Replace consumerism with conservationism, the drug trade with agricultural trade, and the culture of death with a culture of life. End the political and economic bigotry that is based on different shades of melanin, material wealth versus poverty, etc.