The Pope Francis announced this Wednesday that At the beginning of December he will attend the climate summit (COP28) from Dubai, weeks after warning that the time to act against global warming is running out.
This is the first time that a leader of the Catholic Church will personally participate in the COP summit, an event that has been held every year since 1995.
“I’m going to Dubai, I think on December 1st, until the 3rd. I was there for three days”said the Argentine Pontiff, 86, in an interview with Italian television Rai 1.
Since his election in 2013, the Holy Father has made the defense of the environment the central theme of his pontificate.
In 2015, he dedicated his encyclical “Laudato si” (Praise You) to that issue, a 200-page manifesto in favor of a “integral ecology”.
Last month, he published an analysis of the path taken since then, entitled “Laudate Deum” (Praise God), in which he urged the leaders of the planet to sign “binding” agreements on the front of the urgency of the climate and warned that some damage is “irreversible”.
“Laudato Si”, which is almost 200 pages, is addressed not only to the 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, but to the entire planet, which was launched a call for global unity to protect everyone’s “home”.
With that document, he expressed his strong support, and that of the Church, for science, which blames human behavior for climate change.
In “Laudate Deum”, he declared: “over time I realized that we didn’t have enough reaction while the world that welcomes us is collapsing and perhaps approaching a collapse.
But this Wednesday, he pointed out that COP28 could represent “a turning point” when a binding agreement is reached to switch from fossil energy to less polluting ones like wind and solar.
If that commitment is not met, there will be “a great disappointment,” Francis said.
Losing hope, is a “suicidal” act
On October 11, the Argentine Pope received the president of COP28, Sultan Al Jaber, who is also the Minister of Industry and head of the United Arab Emirates oil company, ADNOC, in the Vatican. The appointment of Al Jaber as president of COP28 has been heavily criticized by environmental activists.
In his text last month, Pope Francis pointed out these concerns, which are considered though The United Arab Emirates is a “major exporter of fossil fuels”is also making “significant investments in renewable energy.”
“To say that nothing should be expected is a suicidal act, because it means exposing all humanity, especially the poorest, to the worst effects of climate change,” he insisted.
This is 45th foreign trip of the Supreme Pontiff and the sixth this year. Due to the pain in his knee and the stomach surgery he underwent in June, the father moves around using a wheelchair.