Pope to attend UN climate conference in Glasgow

Pope Glasgow conference

Pope Francis will attend the UN Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow along with leaders from around the world, but only if his health allows it.

The 84-year-old pontiff has returned to his home in the Vatican after convalescing from his July 4 operation. He is expected to resume normal activity in August.

Scotland’s Catholic bishops say they are “delighted to hear” they may get to meet him during the November conference. They have written “expressing their prayerful support” as he recovers from colon surgery.

A spokesman said: “Having written to the Holy Father to assure him of a warm welcome, should he attend the conference, they are delighted to hear that he does hope to attend and would be glad to meet with them in Glasgow.

“The pope will be in Scotland for a very short time, primarily at the Cop26 conference. While many pastoral, ecumenical and interfaith gatherings would be desirable while he is with us, time constraints sadly mean such a full programme will not be possible.”

The pontiff has made environmental appeal a signature of his papacy. He called climate change “one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time” at the United Nations climate action summit in 2019.

On Oct 4, the Vatican will host a major gathering of world religious leaders and scientists. They will take a common stand to raise the stakes ahead of the conference.

The conference, called “Faith and Science: Towards COP26,” is being organised by Britain and Italy. It will bring together some 40 leaders from the world’s major religions and 10 scientists. They will issue a joint appeal for COP26.

The pope criticised former U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Paris accord to limit global warming. The Vatican welcomed President Joe Biden’s return to the accord.

Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry met Francis in May. Kerry said he hoped the pope would attend COP26 because the pontiff has the moral authority to sway public opinion about climate change.


Glasgow Live


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