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Pope cancels participation in COP28 | COP28 : climate summit in Dubai

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Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from his window at the Vatican, November 5, 2023.

Agence France-Presse

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On the advice of his doctors, Pope Francis canceled his planned trip to Dubai for the United Nations climate summit, COP28, which opens Thursday, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

The 86-year-old pope, who has made environmental protection a cornerstone of his 10-year pontificate, planned to become the first pontiff to attend at the UN summit since the process began in 1995.

Although the general health of the Holy Father has improved, regarding his flu symptoms and inflammation of the respiratory tract, doctors have asked the Pope not to make the trip planned in the coming days to Dubai, a announced Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni in a statement.

Pope Francis accepted with great regret the doctors' request and the trip is therefore canceled, added the spokesperson.

He assured that the pope still wished to participate in the discussions in Dubai and that the modalities of this participation would soon be defined.

COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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Earlier in the day, during a Vatican briefing on the trip, Matteo Bruni told reporters that the pope would participate.

Francis, who has suffered a series of health problems in recent years, canceled his planned activities on Saturday due to what the Vatican described as mild flu-like symptoms.

A CT scan ruled out the risk of pulmonary complications.

The pope also said the traditional Angelus prayer on Sunday from his residence and not in St. Peter's Square.

In Dubai, Francis was to castigate countries for their lack of action on climate change and seek to persuade them to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.< /p>

It was also expected to play a role in rebuilding trust between nations vulnerable to climate change and wealthy, consumerist polluters.

At the head of 1.3 billion Catholics, more than half of whom live in developing countries, the pope has long emphasized the link between climate change and poverty, while the world's most disadvantaged pay the highest price for global warming.

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