Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Pope Francis Did Not Mince Words With Oil Company Execs

Pope Francis meets a group of children who traveled on a special train from Milan and arrived at St. Peter's station at the Vatican Saturday Pope Francis Did Not Mince Words With Oil Company Execs
Russell Knight | 11 June, 2018, 17:57

Pope Francis urged oil and energy industry executives to be leaders on the environment as he met with them Saturday in a first-of-its-kind conference at the Vatican.

"Yet even more worrying is the continued search for new fossil fuel reserves, whereas the Paris Agreement clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground", Francis told the Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home conference.

In a similar vein to his 2015 letter to Catholics on climate change, Laudato Si', Pope Francis called on the energy majors to show care for God's creation.

"We know that the challenges facing us are interconnected", the pope said. And still, he said, as many as 1 billion people still lack electricity.

He noted that while energy is necessary, it "should also be clean, by a reduction in the systematic use of fossil fuels", adding that providing clean energy is "a duty that we owe towards millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, poorer countries and generations yet to come". He also warned that in an effort to bring energy sources to everyone, we must be careful not to raise global temperatures, damage the environment, or increase the number of people living in poverty.

Pope Francis in a meeting with the Vatican industry executives says, "It was disturbing that two-and-a-half years after the deal was struck, carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas levels remain very high".

Pope Francis has told the world's oil executives that a transition to less-polluting energy sources "is a challenge of epochal proportions".

Pope Francis meets a group of children who traveled on a special train from Milan and arrived at St. Peter's station at the Vatican Saturday

"Civilization requires energy", the Pope said, "but energy must not be used to destroy civilization!"

Among those summoned to a 16th-century villa in the Vatican gardens were the chairman of Exxon Mobil, and the chief executives of British Petroleum, the Italian energy company ENI, and Norway's Equinor, formerly Statoil.

Environmental degradation and climate change hurt the poor most of all, he said, telling the group to consider the impact of their economic decisions.

"The climate debate is long on targets, but short on action", the company said.

"The effects of climate change are not evenly distributed".

Francis told the gathering Saturday that modern society with its "massive movement of information, persons and things requires an huge supply of energy".

The pope on Saturday said that the situation was dire. He went on to talk about the difficulties faced by the poor because of things like water shortages and extreme weather that forces them to migrate.

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