Pope urges oil execs to develop clean energy

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with Youth Eucharistic Movement at the Vatican in August 2015. Gregorio Borgia  AP

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with Youth Eucharistic Movement at the Vatican in August 2015. Gregorio Borgia AP

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a dire warning to top oil executives, saying that climate change could "destroy civilization". Coming up with an adequate energy mix is critical to fight pollution and poverty while promoting social equality, he said An alliance must be formed, he said, to confront what he called the two great fragilities in the world: Poverty and the environment.

"We know that the challenges facing us are interconnected. If we are to eliminate poverty and hunger. the more than one billion people without electricity today need to gain access to it", the pope told them. The Pope urged to continue the search and to increase the production and use of alternative energy.

There were around 50 participants, including ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods, BP's Bob Dudley, Eldar Saetre of Norwegian oil firm Equinor, Vicki Hollub of Occidental Petroleum and Claudio Descalzi, head of Italian energy company ENI.

He said it was "disturbing and a cause for real concern" that the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and the concentrations of greenhouse gases remain high despite commitments taken in the 2015 Paris accord to fight global warming.

The pope addressed leaders of some of the world's major energy companies on Saturday, at a closed-doors climate change conference in the Vatican. The Pope said he kept contact with her throughout and later as bishop assisted her in her illness until her death at the age of 94.

In the very next sentence, in fact, Francis insists that such "energy should also be clean, by a reduction in the systematic use of fossil fuels".

Frances also recalled his own appeal in the "Laudato Si" encyclical for an energy policy "aimed at averting disastrous climate changes that could compromise the well-being and future of the human family, and our common home".

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with Youth Eucharistic Movement at the Vatican in August 2015.

"Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest", Francis wrote. European leaders, Japan and Canada backed carbon pricing and a "just transition" to clean energy in the section that the U.S. refused to endorse, explains Climate Home News. "It is the poor who suffer most from the ravages of global warming, with increasing disruption in the agricultural sector, water insecurity, and exposure to severe weather events", he said.

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