Pope Francis received Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, president-designate of COP28 UAE, on Wednesday at the Vatican. The meeting comes ahead of the COP28 meeting taking place at Expo City Dubai from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is an annual conference that was established after the signing of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) treaty in 1992 at the U.N. Rio Conference, also known as the Earth Summit. The COP represents all the states that are party to the UNFCCC and is an opportunity for world leaders, representing state and nonstate actors, to meet and discuss policy goals that seek to establish common — and often ambitious — goals for climate change mitigation.
Some of the main goals of COP28 include decarbonization, meeting net-zero methane emissions by 2030, changing financing mechanisms for sustainable energy transition, and developing equitable and inclusive systems.
During their meeting Oct. 11, Pope Francis and Al Jaber discussed the role that faith leaders and faith-based organizations can play in promoting the climate objectives of COP28.
A key initiative for faith leaders will be a global summit called the Confluence of Conscience, which will take place on Nov. 6-7 in Abu Dhabi, according to a COP28 press release. “The COP28 presidency will also co-host the Faith Pavilion at COP28, marking the first-ever pavilion of its kind at a COP event,” the press release said.
Al Jaber also took the opportunity to thank the Holy Father for his efforts in promoting climate change advocacy.
“I want to thank the Vatican, under your papacy, for its work in advocating for a higher ambition on climate action and social justice. Your update of the 2015 Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home to bring it up to date is truly inspiring. We aim to ensure that COP28 amplifies the call to action from religious leaders, and we plan to do this through the global faith leaders’ summit in Abu Dhabi,” Al Jaber said.