Pope Francis urges oil majors to combat global warming and aid poor
Pope Francis urges oil majors to combat global warming and aid poor
Pope Francis: Climate change a challenge of epochal proportions
11 June, 2018, 15:33
Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the architects of "Laudato Si'", as the pope's environmental encyclical is known, opened the energyconference Friday at Casino Pio IV, a villa that houses the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. But the pontiff said it wasn't enough, and that a radical transition to new forms of energy must happen now.
Pope Francis on Saturday warned some of the most powerful figures in the global energy sector that without their help climate change could put human civilization at risk. The Pope told oil executives on Saturday during a two day conference at the Vatican that climate change could "destroy civilization".
Just previous year, Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord. During their meeting in March 2017, the Pope gave Trump a copy of the 2015 encyclical on climate change before the administration made their decision to pull out of the agreement, TIME reported.
While correctly noting that "more than one billion people without electricity today need to gain access to it", the pope rules out affordable fossil fuels, which have been the key to economic development in all first-world countries.
"We know that the challenges facing us are interconnected", the pope said.
"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. "At the same time, it is an enormous opportunity to encourage efforts to ensure fuller access to energy by less developed countries, especially in outlying areas, as well as to diversify energy sources and promote the sustainable development of renewable forms of energy".
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".
"I invite you to be the core group of leaders who envision the global energy transition in a way that will take into account all the peoples of the Earth, as well as future generations and all species and ecosystems, ' Francis said". That is a contradiction Francis highlighted Saturday, telling executives that commercial exploration for new sources of fossil fuels was "even more worrying' than the current levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere".
Companies are betting on increased demand for gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, and to a lesser extent on renewable power such as wind and solar to meet global targets of net zero emissions by the end of the century.
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