Update: On November 3, 2023, the Holy See officially confirmed that Pope Francis will be traveling to Dubai from December 1 to 3 to attend COP28.
Pope Francis announced that he will be traveling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from December 1 to 3, 2023, to take part in COP28, the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference. He said this in an interview with Italian television channel RAI1, on November 1, 2023.
“Yes, I will go to Dubai,” the Pope responded to television journalist Gian Marco Chiocci in a wide-ranging interview broadcast after the 8 p.m. news. With this statement the Pontiff officially confirmed that he will participate in COP28, a trip that had already been anticipated by several media outlets, including I.MEDIA, in the last days.
This will be his 45th trip outside of Italy since 2013, and his second to the United Arab Emirates, as he traveled there in 2019.
“There is still time to stop [climate change]. Our future is at stake. The future of our children and grandchildren. We need some responsibility,” the Pope said.
He also explained how he had sped up his drafting of Laudato Si’ in 2015 at the request of Ségolène Royal, then French Minister of the Environment, so that the document would be published a few months before the COP21 in Paris. “After Laudato Si’ five important officials in the oil field asked for an appointment. All to justify themselves … it takes courage,” the Pope remarked.
“The Paris meeting was the best meeting of all. After Paris everyone went backwards and it takes courage to move forward in this,” Francis said.
In his latest document on the environment,Laudato Deum, published at the beginning of October as a “sequel” to Laudato Si’, the Pontiff in fact criticized the climate conferences that had come after the one in Paris.