From November 30 to December 13, 2023, the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) met in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The issue of greenhouse gas emissions and the review of the commitments made by states to reduce the emissions for which they are responsible were the focus of the conference’s scheduled events and discussions. In particular, countries that are signatories to the Framework Convention were called upon to review the progress made since COP 21 in 2015, i.e., the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.
This review was aimed at establishing new policies to limit the global temperature rise to within 2ºC and possibly move closer to the 1.5ºC target. The agreement reached at the end of long negotiations and difficult compromises seems to warrant cautious optimism. The responsibility now lies with individual states, who are responsible for taking effective steps without further delay.
Pope Francis had planned to attend COP 28 from December 1 to 3, but due to health reasons he had to forego what would have been his 45th apostolic trip. The pontiff, however, did not want to miss the opportunity to share his thoughts on such an important occasion. Therefore, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, acted as Francis’ spokesman, reading his speeches.