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Kerry wants pope to attend climate conference, sway debate

COP26 is being held in Glasgow in November and could accelerate measures by the world's biggest polluters to tackle climate change, a challenge which activists, scientists and world leaders say could ultimately endanger the planet.

"I think that his voice will be a very important voice leading up to and through the Glasgow conference, which I believe he intends to attend," Kerry told the official Vatican News outlet after meeting the pope.

There was no immediate confirmation of this from the Vatican.

Kerry is mid-way through a week-long trip to Europe, meeting government officials and business leaders in Italy, Britain and Germany, as well as the Vatican City, ahead of the summit.

Francis has made many calls for environmental protection since becoming pope in 2013, and has repeatedly urged governments to take drastic measures to combat global warming and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

"We need everybody in this fight," Kerry said.