Mundell & Associates president John Mundell was one of 160 people invited by the Vatican Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to a high-level environmental summit on climate change in Rome, Italy on July 2nd and 3rd.
The gathering was entitled People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course. The conference focused on the recent environmental encyclical by Pope Francis “Laudato Si” and included heads of NGOs, environmental scientists, ambassadors, religious congregations and activists.
The meeting kicked off with thoughts by Cardinal Turkson, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The push for significant environmental conversion and change began with linking the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth.
Later that day, an in-depth panel on the Pope’s encyclical, lead by the world famous environmental activist and author Naomi Klein, Trocaire Policy head Lorna Gold, Sr. Cecile Renouarf, philosopher and economist, and Moema de Miranda, director of IBASE.
Highlights from day 2 included a session on “Pathways that respect our common home” led by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and present UN Secretary General Special Envoy for Climate Change.
Participants visited St. Peter’s square toward the event of the conference where a rainbow about the buildings greeted them – a perfect way to top off the event!
As John returned home to Indianapolis, he expressed his joy at attending this summit,
This has been a tremendous conference that highlighted and emphasized Pope Francis’ new encyclical Laudato Si, and how to move it forward. This was an exercise in collegiality to the maximum extent possible – the scope of the encyclical is far, far wider than just climate change, it’s about integral ecology- the human and the environment both are important!