Pope to attend UN Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow

Pope Francis will attend the UN Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow in November.

Pope Francis and John Kerry, U.S. President Joe Biden’s special envoy for climate, met privately in a closed-door meeting, last week at the Vatican.

In an interview after the meeting, Kerry said he believes Francis will participate in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16).

This assumption seems borne out in one of the partial video clips released by the Vatican.

In this,  the climate envoy can be heard telling his staff, “First day, he’ll be there with the heads of state.”

Someone replies “That’s great. We’ve been hearing that, so it’s nice to have confirmation.”

Kerry then says: “It will be amazing. I’m telling you it will have a profound impact.”

In the post-interview meeting, Kerry said the pope’s moral authority and teaching on the need to address climate change and poverty could encourage more people to increase their commitment to improving the environment.

People need to know that making a positive difference is possible.

Climate change can be slowed while creating millions of new jobs, Kerry emphasised.

A Vatican-released video clip of Kerry’s meeting with Francis shows an exchange of gifts between the two world leaders.

Kerry gave Francis two books. One was his autobiography, “Every Day Is Extra,” the other, the Pulitzer-winning environmental novel “The Overstory” by Richard Powers.

In exchange, Francis gave Kerry a signed copy of his World Peace Day message, a collection of his encyclicals, including “Laudato Si’” – his encyclical on the environment – and a sculpture of a grapevine.

Although the meeting was private, a concept note about Kerry’s keynote address was released.

“The current crisis and global state of confusion” results from “the globalism of selfishness, exclusion and the throwaway culture,” the note for the envoy says.

“Inequality and hunger are increasing, posing major ethical, economic and political challenges to which both policy makers and civil society must react.”

“Comprehensive plans to combat climate change and transform the global system of food production and distribution must be developed,” it adds.


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