Argentina’s environment secretary — he’s also a rabbi — named one of 100 most influential on global climate policy


(JTA) — Sergio Bergman is the rabbi of Argentina’s oldest synagogue. He’s also the secretary of the environment in his South American country under President Mauricio Macri.

Now Bergman is being recognized as a global leader on climate change, on par with names such as David Attenborough and Michael Bloomberg.

Apolitical, a platform partnered with the World Economic Forum and governmental agencies around the world, named him to their Climate 100 list of “The World’s Most Influential People in Climate Policy.”

“As a faith leader, [Bergman] has advocated for taking a more ethical approach to environmental policies rather than scientific,” the Apolitical description reads.

Bergman is the spiritual leader of the Synagogue of the Israelite Congregation, also referred to as Templo Libertad, in Buenos Aires. A friend of Pope Francis — he’s also on the Apolitical list — the rabbi also heads the Judaica Foundation, a network that includes synagogues, educational institutions, social programs, charitable funds, a gay alliance and rural farms.

In 2011, Bergman was named by Macri, then the mayor of Buenos Aires city, to lead his party’s slate of parliamentary candidates for the Buenos Aires municipal legislature. In 2013, Bergman headed the list of national parliamentary candidates. He won both elections.

After winning the presidential election in October 2015, Macri tapped Bergman to serve as minister of environment and sustainable development.

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