VATICAN: Pope Francis Cancels COP 28 Trip on Doctor’s Orders

By Paschal Norbert

VATICAN CITY, NOVEMBER 30, 2023 (CISA)Pope Francis has cancelled his trip to Dubai for the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In a statement by Matteo Bruni, the Holy See’s Press Office Director, on November 28, the pope who has been receiving antibiotics intravenously to treat a lung inflammation was requested to cancel the trip by his doctors for medical reasons.

“Although the Holy Father’s general clinical picture has improved with regard to his ‘flu-like condition and inflammation of the respiratory tract, the doctors have advised the Pope not to make the trip planned for the coming days to Dubai, on the occasion of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” said Matteo Bruni.

The trip by the Holy Father to the global climate summit was expected to be the first meeting of its kind attended by a supreme pontiff.

The pope had been scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from December 1 to 3 to address the summit and meet with world leaders, before inaugurating the first Faith Pavilion at COP28.

His intended presence at the climate summit was a welcome treat for climate activists since he had been expected to address several issues at the global meeting including funding for Loss and Damage to help poor and vulnerable countries facing climate disasters, and fossil fuels.

In October, the pope published a new Apostolic Exhortation, Laudate Deum, to all people of goodwill on the climate crisis. It is a document intended to follow up on the pope’s 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si, in which he appeals to governments, businesses and citizens to take urgent action on climate change, warning that the “world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.”