After two days of meetings in Rome with mayors from around the world on climate change, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she realized a familiar topic at home hadn't been part of the conversation.
Leaders of cities from outside the U.S. didn't seem to have to spend much time debating the matter with people who don't believe in climate change, the mayor said in a call with local media on Wednesday.
"I noticed that, probably about halfway through today, and just realized that climate change deniers cast a pall on the conversation in the United States," Hodges said. "And that as far as I can tell, it does not extend to anywhere else in the world."
The mayor had just wrapped up her second day of a summit convened by Pope Francis. She joined about 60 mayors from around the world to discuss climate change, human trafficking and to hear from the pope on both issues. The mayor's trip was funded by the conference organizers.
Hodges said conversations on both days focused on what cities are doing to combat climate change, and how each city's effort has an impact beyond its boundaries.
"The decisions we make in Minneapolis have an impact on things that happen in Ghana, or happen in Honduras," she said.
The mayor said she was interested in the "sense of urgency" expressed by leaders in regions that are already feeling more significant impacts from climate change.
"These leaders are very clear that this is happening," she said.
While the topic of people who don't believe in climate change did not come up at the two-day conference, Hodges said she heard from people following along with her travels online.
"I saw a number of them responding in my Twitter feed," she said.