Pope Francis will not now be attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, the Vatican announced on Friday, October 8, 2021.
Instead, the Vatican delegation will be led by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, the Holy See said.
The summit, the success of which is widely considered crucial to the global effort to combat the climate crisis, will take place in the Scottish city from Oct. 31, to Nov. 12.
While the Pope’s attendance at the meeting was never officially confirmed, the Pope himself suggested that his trip was planned in an interview with a Spanish radio station in early September.
“Everything depends on how I feel then,’’ he remarked at the time. “The plan is that I will be there.’’
Pope Francis has been campaigning on climate change for years and also spoke about it on Thursday during his private audience with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Pope joined almost 40 other Church leaders earlier this week in issuing an appeal to the international community to intensify efforts to fight the climate crisis and global warming.