VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis called for lawmakers around the world to transcend "the narrow confines of partisan politics" in order to reach consensus quickly on climate change.
The pope addressed the parliamentarians in Rome, where he was speaking ahead of the U.N.'s annual climate conference. It will begin in Glasgow, Scotland on Oct. 31.
Francis spoke of a joint appeal that he and other religious leaders had signed this week. It calls on governments to set ambitious goals at the U.N conference. experts consider an important opportunity to address the threat from global warming.
Francis stated that everyone can play a part in meeting this challenge. He spoke to lawmakers from different countries. "The role of politicians and government leaders is particularly important and crucial."
Francis stated, "This will require wisdom, foresight, and concern for the common welfare: in a nutshell, the fundamental virtues good politics."
Francis had stated earlier that he planned to attend the U.N.'s COP26 conference. However, the Vatican announced Friday he will not be attending and the Vatican delegation would instead be headed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state.
The pope expressed optimism Saturday that lawmakers' efforts at the conference on climate change and beyond would be "illuminated by the two important principles responsibility and solidarity."
He said, "We owe it to the young and future generations."
Francis stated that caring for the "common home" of humanity is not only about disengaging and punishing bad practices but also "concretely encouraging new paths of pursuit" that are more suited to climate protection objectives and contributing to "the positive outcome of COP26."
Francis addressed Nancy Pelosi in private before his speech.
Pelosi stated that "His Holiness is a source for joy and hope for Catholics" and that she was inspired by Francis's leadership to encourage Catholics to be good stewards, to act on climate change, to embrace refugees and the poor, as well as to recognize the dignity of each person.
She described the 2015 encyclical of the pontiff exhorting people to preserve the environment as "a powerful challenge for the global community to take action on the climate crisis, with particular attention to the most vulnerable populations."
Pelosi thanked His Holiness for the "immensive moral clarity and urgency" he had brought to the climate crisis during their meeting, according to the statement.