No longer just an observer, Vatican looks to wield new status in UN climate talks

By Brian Roewe
November 17, 2022

When Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed world leaders in the first days of COP27, the United Nations climate change summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, he did so on equal footing with the heads of state assembled before him.

The speech marked the first for the Holy See as a formal party to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change — the United Nations body that convenes the annual climate conference, facilitates international negotiations to limit and prepare for the impacts of a rapidly heating world, and oversees the Paris Agreement. With that 2015 pact, nearly every country on Earth — including, as of last month, the Vatican city-state — committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

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