Scottish development agency “gutted” Francis won’t attend COP26 climate summit

Pope will not travel to COP26

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will not travel to Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit but stopped short of giving a reason for his non-attendance.

The Director of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, Alistair Dutton, is said to be “gutted” over Francis no-show.

The announcement was “an enormous disappointment for everyone who had hoped Pope Francis would inspire world leaders to really grasp the nettle and tackle the climate emergency.”

“Pope Francis has always been clear that we all have an urgent collective responsibility to tackle the climate crisis. While he won’t be in Glasgow to look them in the eye, his teaching stands as a clear moral call not to shirk their responsibilities for all peoples and the planet that is our common home,” Dutton said.

Instead, the Holy See delegation would be led instead by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, its secretary of state.

In a statement on Friday, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said, “The bishops welcome the announcement that Cardinal Parolin will lead the Holy See delegation as an indication of the importance the Church attaches to COP26 and will continue to keep Pope Francis in their prayers.”

The Pope previously said he hoped to attend the conference but would depend on “how I feel at the time”.

Francis underwent colon surgery in July and spent 10 days recovering in a Rome hospital.

A report from the Glasgow Evening Times expresses concerns about world leaders staying in Glasgow during COP26.

Specific details remain unclear, but concerns surround the M8, one of the busiest motorways in the UK.

Police have been informed of planned protests near junction 19 at Anderston and the Scotsman has been told of roadworks causing up to 30-minute delays.

“There are security concerns about having to move VIPs through slow-moving traffic,” a source told the Scotsman.

The COP26 meeting also coincides with the launch of the Synod on Synodality.

Pope Francis has said it is time to “change course” on the environment in the run-up to the climate summit.

He has also signed the Vatican up to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Organisers said that while disappointed the Pope will not travel to COP26, they confirmed the Queen will attend the summit. In addition, US President Joe Biden has said he is “anxious” to be there.

The climate summit will be held at the Scottish Exhibition Campus in Glasgow from 31 Oct to 12 Nov.

Around 120 world leaders will meet to lay out plans to cut emissions causing climate change.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,