Update: Pope Francis Offers Short Message to President Biden's Climate Summit — Full Text Below

The Holy Father is among the featured presenters on the first of the two-day gathering.

Greenpeace activists project a laser message saying “Leaders Save Earth, Save Us” Wednesday in Seoul, South Korea. President Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Pope Francis, to participate in the Leaders Summit on Climate and is hoping to reach deals with some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters.
Greenpeace activists project a laser message saying “Leaders Save Earth, Save Us” Wednesday in Seoul, South Korea. President Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Pope Francis, to participate in the Leaders Summit on Climate and is hoping to reach deals with some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. (photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)

Editor's Note: As of April 22, Pope Francis' name no longer appears on the list of featured speakers for President Joe Biden's online climate summit. Pope Francis did offer a short video message to the event in Spanish. Here is an unofficial working translation:

Good morning. I greet you who are gathered for this initiative that seems to me a happy one – an initiative that sets us all on the path, all of humanity through its leaders. It puts us on the path, concretely, towards the Glasgow meeting, but even more concretely, to take charge of the custody of nature, of this gift that we have received and that we have to heal, to guard and to carry forward. And this takes on a much greater significance because it is a challenge we have in this post-pandemic time. It is not over yet, but it’s time, we have to look ahead, because it is a crisis. We know that we do not come out of a crisis in the same way: either we come out better or worse.
 And our concern is to see that the environment is cleaner, healthier and conserved. And to take care of nature so that it takes care of us. I wish you success in this beautiful decision to meet, to move forward and I accompany you. Thank you very much.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will join dozens of world leaders tomorrow when he speaks at President Joe Biden’s two-day online climate summit that is aimed at cutting global emissions and galvanizing “climate ambition.”

The Pope is scheduled to address the meeting via video link sometime during the second session of the “Leaders Summit on Climate,” which will take place in the morning. 

According to the summit’s website, that session will focus on “Investing in Climate Solutions,” although the precise topic of the Pope’s talk has not yet been announced.

Discussions during the session will “highlight the urgent need to scale up climate finance; efforts to increase public finance for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries; and efforts to shift trillions of dollars of private investment to finance the transition to net zero by 2050,” the website says.

Other speakers during the session will include New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Bank of America chief Brian Moynihan, and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. 

Other confirmed speakers at the summit include U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, the heads of NATO and the World Bank, Bill Gates, and the billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who now serves as the U.N.’s special envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions.

The Biden administration invited a total of 40 national leaders to the summit, including President Xi Jinping of China who, according to a Chinese government spokeswoman, will deliver an “important” speech via video. 

Other invited leaders include Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as the prime ministers of India, Canada and Britain. Biden reportedly wanted the heads of those economies that produce 80% of global emissions to attend, as well as those thought to be most affected by the harmful consequences of climate change. 

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has been drumming up support for the summit, which is being billed as a chance for the Biden administration to draw attention to its climate policies and “step up global climate ambition after four years of inaction and denial under Donald Trump.”

According to its website, the meeting is “aimed at setting the world up for success on multiple fronts as we work to address the climate crisis, including emissions reductions, finance, innovation and job creation, and resilience and adaptation.” It adds that its primary objective is to “galvanize the efforts” by the world’s major economies “to keep the goal of limiting [global] warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.” 

The summit is also being billed as a “key milestone” ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow and aims to increase the chances of “meaningful outcomes” from that meeting.

President Joe Biden on Jan. 22.

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