Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Pope Francis meets Mayors from around the world, talking about Climate Change

Francis is on to something by inviting mayors to the Vatican, rather than state-level leaders, such as prime ministers and presidents.

The Vatican summit this week comes ahead of a crucial round of United Nations climate talks scheduled for early December in Paris.

It’s a safe bet that Francis will nudge policymakers in the U.S. to push for climate action when he speaks at the U.N. in September, and becomes the first-ever pope to address a joint session of Congress.

PopePope Francis convenes world’s mayors to discuss global warming, Mashable Australia, Andrew Freeman 20 July 15  Anyone who thought that Pope Francis was going to issue his climate change manifesto, and then recede quietly into the background on the issue was sorely mistaken.

In fact, judging from his agenda this week, it’s clear that Francis intends to be a major player in spurring leaders to combat global warming, which he sees as inextricably linked to efforts to lift the plight of the world’s poor.

SEE ALSO: Pope Francis: Global warming is a threat to humanity

This week, the Vatican’s science committees will host two days of meetings with 50 mayors and governors from around the world; they will discuss ways to implement policies aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, boosting resilience to climate extremes and eradicating poverty. The meetings on July 21 and 22, which are taking place under the auspices of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, are expected to include Francis’ participation.

The session on July 21 is called, “Modern Slavery and Climate Change: The Commitment of The Cities,” while July 22 will feature speakers on “Prosperity, People and Planet: Achieving Sustainable Development in Our Cities.”

Participants at the meetings will include New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, as well as mayors from Africa, Europe and Asia. Twenty-three members of the C40 Initiative, a group of 75 mayors who are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions while improving their communities’ ability to withstand climate extremes, such as heat waves and sea level rise, are expected to attend.

Other American political leaders heading to the Vatican include San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The pope’s climate change encyclical, which is a formal Catholic teaching document, was produced with assistance from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. These little-known organizations gathered scientists, theologians and other experts to advise Francis as he wrote the document; now, they are telling how to encourage solutions to the problems identified in the encyclical.

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Vatican host of the mayors summit, told Mashable that he hopes the mayors agree to work on cutting their greenhouse gas emissions, while also addressing the needs of the poor………

Why cities are so crucial for any successful climate deal

Francis is on to something by inviting mayors to the Vatican, rather than state-level leaders, such as prime ministers and presidents.

For one thing, the majority of the world’s population now lives in cities. By 2030, that is predicted to rise to about 60%, with city’s then generating about 85% of the GDP and around three-quarters of the world’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, a recent report found.

The C40 Initiative, chaired by Mayor Paes of Rio, represents about 500 million people alone, according to the program’s website.

With their dense populations and concentrations of property and infrastructure, cities are also particularly vulnerable to floods and other climate impacts, as was proven by Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012.

Rodrigo Rosa, Paes’ climate change adviser, told Mashable in an interview that Francis recognizes that while the international community has largely failed to take ambitious action on climate change, cities have stepped into the void.

“We’re going beyond the climate talk and actually doing climate action,” Rosa said. “He sees that; he understands that.”

Rosa added that the pope is approaching climate change from a different perspective than any other prominent world figure, which he sees as beneficial. “It really touches the ethical reasons behind the economic development system around the world,” he said of Francis’ encyclical.

The Vatican summit this week comes ahead of a crucial round of United Nations climate talks scheduled for early December in Paris. That meeting is aimed at drafting a new climate agreement to go into effect in 2020, but most indications suggest it will fall short of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels……….

It’s a safe bet that Francis will nudge policymakers in the U.S. to push for climate action when he speaks at the U.N. in September, and becomes the first-ever pope to address a joint session of Congress. However, his appearance may be awkward for its many Republican members, who deny the very existence of manmade global warming. http://mashable.com/2015/07/19/pope-francis-climate-meeting/

July 22, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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