Pope encouraged me to fight for Paris climate accord – Merkel

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 12:08 GMT, Jun 17, 2017 |

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday (June 17) that Pope Francis had encouraged her to fight for international agreements like the Paris climate accord, after U.S. President Trump announced the United States was pulling out of the global agreement to combat climate change.

Merkel made the comments after a private audience with the pope in the Vatican, which she was granted in her capacity as the host of July’s G20 summit in Hamburg.

The chancellor described the conversation as very encouraging, saying the pope had welcomed the G20 agenda and “encouraged me to continue down the path of solidarity despite all the challenges we are facing”.

German government sources say Merkel is seeking to bolster support among G20 members for tackling climate change ahead of the summit on July 7-8, while trying to avoid giving the impression she is rallying an anti-U.S. alliance.