Pope tells top oil executives world must convert to clean fuel

Neil Thorns Director of Advocacy at CAFOD 'If energy companies are serious about caring for our common home they need to take Pope's advice'

"As you know, in December 2015, 196 Nations negotiated and adopted the Paris Agreement, with a firm resolve to limit the growth in global warming to below 2° centigrade, based on preindustrial levels, and, if possible, to below 1.5° centigrade", Francis stated.

Pope Francis has told oil company chiefs that the world must switch to clean energy because climate change risks destroying humanity.

"Civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization", the Pope told oil company executives at the end of a two-day conference at the Vatican.

Francis spoke on the second day of a two-day closed-door conference that included numerous world's most influential oil executives and other energy sector players, including the CEOs from ExxonMobil, BP, Equinor of Norway, and Italy's Eni.

Some of the world's biggest oil titans met with the Pope for a closed-door conference Saturday.

Pressure has been building on oil and gas companies to transition to less polluting forms of energy, with the threat of fossil-fuel divestment sometimes used as a stick. It adds that the statement already included an "agreement to disagree" on climate change, with the USA refusing to sign a pledge to implement the Paris climate accord. 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. The Pope acknowledged the latent demand for energy but said it must not come at the cost of the environment.

He even published his own paper on protecting the environment in 2015 called Laudato Si (Praised Be), where he wrote: "The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all".

"This is a challenge of epochal proportions", he said Saturday. "At the same time it is an huge opportunity to encourage efforts to ensure fuller access to energy by less developed countries.as well as diversifying energy sources and promoting the sustainable development of renewable forms of energy".

The pope called for a "long-term global strategy to provide energy security", along with "precise commitments" to tackle the challenge of climate change.

The Paris Agreement - from which President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in 2017 - set out a global action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

He urged participants to use their "demonstrated aptitude for innovation" to address "two of the great needs in today's world: the care of the poor and the environment".

He said that though the world is affected by climate change, it was the poor who would "suffer most from the ravages of global warming".

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