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Rome Reports

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Pope to gather scientists, religious leaders to address climate change before UN conference


The Vatican in partnership with the United Kingdom and Italy, this year's presidents of the G7 and G20, is inviting faith leaders and scientists from around the world to Rome to discuss issues of climate change on October 4. 

The meeting is titled “Faith and Science: Towards COP26,” and will be part of the buildup to the United Nations climate change conference to take place in Glasgow this November 1-12.  

The COP26 conference will gather participating countries to develop ambitious plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

ABP. PAUL GALLAGHER
Vatican Secretary for Relations with States
“The contribution we hope religious leaders will make through the conference on the 4th of October and in the coming months will be to raise the ambitions of our political leaders and our statesmen and women, to be able to grasp the nettle, see the issues, and make courageous decisions.”

Nearly 40 leaders from the world's major religions and 10 leading scientists have been invited to participate. They will play a key role in encouraging diverse groups of people to care for the planet through their actions.  

SALLY JANE AXWORTHY
British Ambassador to the Holy See
“The vast majority of the world's population have a religious belief, so clearly mobilizing faith communities is really important in the fight against climate change.

Most of this is about countries making nationally determined contributions, and people making changes. It's about us all taking on the climate agenda and obviously faith is a really important part of that.”

In a meeting with the United States Special Climate Envoy, John Kerry, Pope Francis expressed his interest in participating in the UN climate change conference this Fall, where other world leaders such as U.S. President Joe Biden are expected to attend.

JM