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Pope Francis speaking to TG1.Video screenshot

VATICAN CIY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis has announced he will attend the upcoming climate change “COP28” conference in Dubai in December, in a historic first. 

In a television interview with Italian news outlet TG1, Pope Francis confirmed previous reports that he would participate in the upcoming COP28 conference being held in Dubai. 

“Yes, I will go to Dubai,” the Pope declared. “I think I will leave December 1st until December 3rd. I’ll stay there for three days.” 

Francis referenced a conversation which he had with the European Union’s former environment minister, Segolene Royal, who requested the Pope write a climate change themed document. 

“I called some scientists here, who moved quickly. ‘Laudato sí’ was released, it came out before Paris,” said Francis, referencing the Paris 2015 COP21 climate change conference which established the Paris Agreement.

“And the meeting in Paris was the most beautiful of all. After Paris, everyone went backward, and it takes courage to move forward in this,” said Francis. 

News of the Pope’s possible attendance at the conference – due to take place from November 30 through December 12, in the United Arab Emirates – had emerged as a strong likelihood in recent days when La Croix cited “several senior Vatican sources” confirming the Pope’s planned trip. 

The decision was reportedly made after Pope Francis privately met with COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber on October 11 at the Vatican. Al Jaber has described the conference as “a prime opportunity to rethink, reboot, and refocus the climate agenda.”

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The annual series of United Nations Climate Change Conference, or Conference of Parties (COP), climate change conferences are held in a different country each time, and have been held since 1992. Since the 2015 event in Paris and the emergence of the Paris Climate Agreement, the events have been focussed on meeting the restrictive targets imposed by that document.

Francis’ attendance at the conference is of particular significance, being the first time that a pontiff has taken part in such a summit. He had originally been due to attend the COP26 conference in Glasgow in 2021, but subsequently decided to remain in Rome and send Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Parolin in his stead.

But the Pope has also posited this particular COP event as a key event in human history, as he outlined in the pages of his recently published environmental apostolic exhortation, Laudate Deum.

“If we are confident in the capacity of human beings to transcend their petty interests and to think in bigger terms, we can keep hoping that COP28 will allow for a decisive acceleration of energy transition, with effective commitments subject to ongoing monitoring,” he wrote. “This Conference can represent a change of direction, showing that everything done since 1992 was in fact serious and worth the effort, or else it will be a great disappointment and jeopardize whatever good has been achieved thus far.”

Francis was critical of the fact that the temperature reduction goals of the pro-abortion Paris Agreement had not yet been met, and criticized previous COP conferences for “imprecise” actions.

Consequently, Francis argued for the upcoming Dubai conference to issue and implement mandatory “climate change” policies on countries. He wrote how “[i]f there is sincere interest in making COP28 a historic event that honors and ennobles us as human beings, then one can only hope for binding forms of energy transition that meet three conditions: that they be efficient, obligatory and readily monitored.”

READ: Pope Francis advocates for powerful global government not subject to ‘changing political conditions’

Such a measure, he stated, would “achieve the beginning of a new process marked by three requirements: that it be drastic, intense and count on the commitment of all.” 

“That is not what has happened so far, and only a process of this sort can enable international politics to recover its credibility, since only in this concrete manner will it be possible to reduce significantly carbon dioxide levels and to prevent even greater evils over time.”

Organizers of the COP28 event echo the Pope’s words, describing the conference as a “milestone moment” in which to “provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement.”

READ: Vatican partners with leftist Swedish group to send ‘climate change’ books to parishes worldwide

“This will help align the efforts on climate action, including measures that need to be put in place to bridge the gaps in progress,” organizers argue.

Issuing a message to participants of the COP28 event back in May, Pope Francis made an appeal for an end of the “era of fossil fuel,” stating: 

The world leaders who will gather for the COP28 summit in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December next must listen to science and institute a rapid and equitable transition to end the era of fossil fuel.

Pope Francis’ personal commitment to the “climate change” agenda is well documented, and has emerged as one of the central themes of his ten-year reign. His continued promotion of the Paris Agreement, which underpins the majority of the current “climate change” agenda, comes despite the agreement’s fundamentally pro-abortion principles which connect to the stated U.N. goal of creating a universal “right” to abortion in line with Goal No. 5.6 of the orgnization’s Sustainable Development Goals.

READ: Pope Francis calls for an ‘end’ to ‘the era of fossil fuel’ in Prayer for Creation message

The Pope has gone as far as to sign the Vatican up to the principles of the agreement in 2022. His previous environmental text, Laudato Si’, led to the birth of a global movement which links “climate change” activism to the Pope’s words. The Laudato Si’ Movement issues calls to divest from fossil fuels, and aims to “turn Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’ into action for climate and ecological justice.”