POPE Francis has confirmed for the first time that he intends to come to Glasgow for a climate change conference later this year. 

The leader of the Catholic Church said a visit to the city in November "will depend on his health" but revealed his speech was already being prepared. 

His attendance at COP26 would mark the first time a Pontiff has come to Glasgow since Benedict XVI in 2010. This was three decades after Pope John Paul II famously addressed an estimated 300,000 worshippers in Bellahouston Park in 1982. 

READ MORE: Pope Francis 'considering' visit to Glasgow for climate conference

Other world leaders such President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are also expected to be in the city for the summit. 

Asked directly in an interview with Vatican News about coming to Glasgow, Pope Francis said: "Yes, in principle the program is that I go. It all depends on how I feel at the time.

Glasgow Times: Pope John Paul II during his famous visit to Glasgow Pope John Paul II during his famous visit to Glasgow

"But in fact, my speech is already being prepared, and the plan is to be there." 

As we have previously reported, police chiefs told earlier this year that they were preparing for the Pontiff to visit Glasgow for COP26. 

Assistant chief constable Bernard Higgins said the Catholic Church leader's attendance at the summit would escalate policing of the event beyond the 2012 Olympics in London. 

READ MORE: Police 'preparing' for Pope Francis to visit Glasgow

"For me, the Paris meeting [COP21 held in 2015] was the summum in becoming globally aware," continued the Pope, who is recovering from colon surgery. "Then what happened? Fear set in. And slowly, in the subsequent meetings, they went backward.

"I hope that Glasgow will now raise its sights a bit and bring us more in line."