Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Pope to oil execs: Energy needs must not destroy civilization

Pope to oil execs: Energy needs must not destroy civilization Pope to oil execs: Energy needs must not destroy civilization
Nellie Chapman | 11 June, 2018, 17:56

The world's leading oil and finance executives gathered at the Vatican for a two-day conference about ways to make the change to clean energy across the globe.

At a conference named as 'Energy Transition and Care for our Common Home, ' Pope Francis conveyed, "Yet even more worrying is the continued search for new fossil fuel reserves, whereas the Paris Agreement urged keeping most fossil fuels underground".

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.

"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", he said.

"If energy companies are serious about caring for our common home, they need to take the Pope's advice and hurry up with shifting their priorities - and therefore their money - from fossil fuels to renewables". "Our desire is to provide energy for all should not lead to undesirable effect to irreversible climate change", said the Pontiff.

The oil and gas industry has faced increased pressure from investors and ecological activists to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as outlined in the 2016 Paris climate agreement.

Among the some 50 participants were Darren Woods, CEO of ExxonMobil, Claudio Descalzi, head of Italy's ENI, Bob Dudley of BP, Eldar Saetre, CEO of Norwegian oil firm Equinor (formerly called Statoil), Vicki Hollub of Occidental Petroleum, and investors including Larry Fink of BlackRock.

"Civilization requires energy, but energy must not destroy civilization", he implored. The US Energy Information Administration says, "Energy demand is set to rise to about twenty-eight percent between the period from 2015 to 2040".

He has long considered climate change as one of the key themes of his papacy.

Paul J. Browne, a Notre Dame spokesman, said the university's president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, had been inspired by the pope's 2015 encyclical, instructing "all schools and departments of the university to respond to Francis" evocative appeal on behalf of "our sister, ' the Earth".

The pope commended the oil and gas companies for "developing more careful approaches to the assessment of climate risk and adjusting their business practices accordingly".

"This is a challenge of epochal proportions", he said. 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.