With a steadfast commitment to addressing the climate crisis, Pope Francis has announced his participation in the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, taking place in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 12.
“I will go to Dubai. I think that I will leave on December 1 through the 3rd. I’ll spend three days there,” the 86-year-old pontiff shared his plans in an interview with Italy’s Rai 1.
On December 2, the Pope will address the summit alongside the grand imam of Al-Azhar and chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, Ahmed Al-Tayeb. On December 3, the two of them will participate in the inauguration of the Faith Pavilion.
This will mark the first time a pontiff has engaged directly in a UN meeting.
“The pope’s presence at COP28 will be a historic event and without precedence in the history of COP,” said Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Elders. “His Holiness is one of the pivotal players at the international level and one of the prominent faith leaders dedicated to this issue of climate change.”
Indeed, since assuming the papacy in 2013, Pope Francis has consistently made environmental stewardship a central theme of his leadership. Last month, Francis met with the COP28 President-Designate Sultan al-Jaber and released a document calling on climate change deniers and politicians to have a change of heart.
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In the document, Pope Francis said that failure in Dubai “will be a great disappointment and jeopardize whatever good has been achieved thus far.”
As the world eagerly anticipates the outcomes of COP28 and hopes for advancements in ambitious climate targets, the pope’s presence at the summit serves as a poignant reminder of the high stakes involved. It reinforces the notion that collective efforts are imperative to safeguard our planet for the well-being of generations to come.
“We are still in time to stop it [global warming],” Pope Francis said in the interview with Rai 1. “Our future is at stake, the future of our children and our grandchildren. A bit of responsibility is needed.”
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Feb. 13, 2016. Featured Photo Credit: Marko Vombergar/ALETEIA/Wikimedia Commons.