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Pope Francis To Visit Scotland, Attend Climate Change Conference In November

The 26th Climate Change Conference might be the world's "last ditch effort" to counter permanent effects of climate change.

On November 1-12, the United Nations, Parties to the Convention, related organizations and agencies, non-profits, media outlets, and faith groups will be coming together in Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26. The two-week conference is where concerned personalities, parties, and organizations tackle what we can do globally to help stop permanent damages due to climate change.

And one of the people expected to attend COP26 is Pope Francis himself. Pope Francis, who is known to be an advocate for caring for the environment, will be visiting Scotland around the same time as the conference, according to a spokesperson of the bishops’ conference in Scotland. (Read: 5 Times Pope Francis Championed Sustainable Living)

A champion for Mother Earth

True to the values of his namesake, Pope Francis values sustainable living and care for nature. In fact, it is the topic of his 2015 Laudato si (‘On care for our common home’), where he critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, and talks about global warming, and encourages people around the world to take action.

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Pope Francis speaks outside the Castelpetroso sanctuary near Isernia in southern Italy on July 5, 2014. During the speech, he told students that environmental damage was a sin. (Photo from Giampiero Sposito/Reuters)

This is why it is no surprise that the 84-year-old Holy Father is attending COP26 during his Scotland visit. “The pope will be in Scotland for a very short time, most of which will be spent participating in the COP26 conference,” said the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland’s spokesperson. (Read: CBCP Launches Nationwide Program for the Care of Environment)

“While many pastoral, ecumenical, and interfaith gatherings would be desirable while he is with us, time constraints sadly mean such a full program will not be possible,” they added.

Committed to the issue of climate change

Earlier in May, plans of Pope Francis attending COP26 had already been expected. When he met with John Kerry, US President Joseph Biden’s special envoy for climate, Kerry could be heard saying that “first day he’ll [Pope Francis] be there with the heads of state.” The first and second days of the conference are for the World Leaders’ Summit.

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Pope Francis exchanges gifts with John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, at the Vatican on May 15, 2021. (Photo from CNS photo/Vatican Media/America Magazine)

Later this year, in October, the Vatican will be hosting ‘Faith and Science: Towards COP26“. It is an event that will be bringing scientists and religious leaders from around the world together ahead of the Glasgow conference.

The event is being organized by the British and Italian Embassies to the Holy See.

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