The 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, the visible face of the youth's concern for the weather This Wednesday he met with Pope Francisco, to whom he has taken his environmental claim. The Pope is the author of the first social encyclical of the Church -Laudato si- about climate change and protecting the environment and the student has mobilized thousands of young people around the world to save the planet.
At the end of the traditional audience that Bergoglio presides every week in the Plaza de San Pedro and to which thousands of people come, he went to Thunberg, who was waiting for the arrival of the Pope with a sign that read "Join the climate strike" (join the strike for the weather). They shook hands, shared a brief conversation and exchanged knowing glances. The day before your trip to Rome, to the question of various media about what he would say to the Pope, Greta replied: "Something about the weather." Although they did not maintain a private, more articulate audience, with some specific topics on the table and the possibility of addressing them in depth, the meeting is already symbolic in itself, conceived as a sum of forces to send a message of encouragement to those who believe in the defense of the environment.
Greta arrived in Rome in the morning from Strasbourg, where she gave a speech in the European Parliament, to take her protest also to the institutions of the trans-Alpine country and to sensitize the Italian public and especially to the policy on the urgency to place the change Climate on the agenda. On Thursday he will speak at a climate conference in the Senate. The Swedish activist's family had asked for an audience with the Pope some time ago and Francisco had invited them to go to the Vatican in June. After fixing these secular appointments the parents of the teenager asked to advance the appointment with the Pontiff, since Greta does not use the plane, to avoid polluting more, and a train trip of 2,500 kilometers Stockholm-Rome, crossing Europe, is not something light, so the intention was to take advantage of the trip already set to Italy to see the Pope. Francisco agreed and anticipated the meeting.
Both are two of the people with greater influence when it comes to moving consciences against climate change. They share a common sensibility in the defense of the environment and want to involve politicians in the battle against global warming. Francisco has made the integral ecology and the defense of the common house one of the workhorses of his Pontificate. Whenever it has an opportunity, it asks the international community to overcome the selfish interests and behaviors to truly implement the Paris Agreement, which aims to ensure that the average temperature of the planet does not exceed two degrees and that it is based on the premise that all countries they must collaborate in the fight against climate change by reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases.
Greta, who has promoted a global strike to demand concrete actions from world leaders, sees the Pope as a perfect interlocutor and at the same time a powerful ally for his cause. With his Friday for the future (Fridays for the Future) he has managed to bring millions of students from all over the world to the squares to cry out for the defense of the planet.
The young Swedish woman will stay two more days in Rome. After his visit to the Senate on Thursday, where he will be received by the president of the upper chamber Elisabetta Castelucci, on Friday he will lead the protest of the youth movement in the Italian capital.