(Vatican Radio) Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna met with Pope Francis on Wednesday on the sidelines of the General Audience in St Peter’s Square.
The Minister has been in Italy to attend the G7 environment summit in Bologna and has participated in meetings at the Vatican to discuss the issues of migration and climate change.
Before meeting with the Pope, Minister McKenna spoke to Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti.
Speaking about the commitment of the Church and the Pope’s leadership on the issue on climate change, Minister McKenna described it as “extraordinary”, adding, “it is really important because we have to be talking to as many people as we can about the challenges that we face… and I think that the Pope has a real opportunity to reach Catholics around the world and beyond to get them really to act and realize that every single thing you do has an impact on our planet…”
Asked about the prospects for tackling climate change in the wake of the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Minister said that in spite of that decision, she has been heartened to see not just other countries commitment to climate action but people around the world understanding that this is the one chance to act for a better future.
Stressing the close links between Canada and the Holy See, Minister McKenna said that she will bring back to Canada with her, “the opportunity for us to work very closely with the Vatican on issues that our very important to our government.”