Vatican Conference: Pope Urges Big Oil to Lead in the Fight against Climate Change
In the conference that took place in Vatican City, Pope Francis called all big oil companies to lead in the fight against climate change in which during the conference he referred to climate change as a challenge of ‘epochal proportions’ that must be put to halt at all cost.
During this conference, the pope clearly addressed these oil companies and told them to immediately desist from the use of fossil fuels and its exploration if they want the earth a safer place to be. The Pope himself also stated that instead of using fossil fuels, clean fuels should be used and harnessed.
However, it is important to know that this type of conference strictly addressing climate change is the first-of-its-kind in Vatican City and it attracted oil executives, investors and experts. This was stated by The Guardian on Saturday.
“Civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization.” This was the closing remark of the pope during the conference meeting, according to The Guardian.
Pope Francis has become one the leaders to take on the fight against climate change after his trailblazing encyclical in 2015 and he his still urging top oil companies to desist from the use of fossil fuels and turn to renewable energy.
According to the New York Times, the pope also stated this: “To be the core of a 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.”
In addition to his statements, he also spoke on the need to act as soon as possible. “There is no time to lose,” according to The New York Times.
Furthermore, it is also essential to note that the pope said that the emission of carbon dioxide and greenhouse even after the Paris Agreement has been signed 2 years back is still a big distress and something must be done as soon as possible.
He also criticized companies that search for new oil and gas reserves even though it has been discovered by the scientific research that about two-thirds of the fossil fuels in the world must not be burnt so as to decrease the temperature of the earth to below 20C.
“Yet even more worrying is the continued search for new fossil fuels reserves, whereas the Paris Agreement clearly urges keeping most fossil fuel reserves, whereas the Paris Agreement clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground. This is why we need to talk together – industry, investors, researchers, and consumers – about transition and the search for alternatives. Civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization.” These were the words of the pope.
Nevertheless, big investors and chief executives of ExxonMobil, BP, and Equinor listened to the commentaries of Pope Francis.
Citing lots of examples for the breathtaking 2015 encyclical about climate change referred to as Laudato Si, the pope himself emphasized that temporary economic boom and global access to energy should not come at the expense of earth.
“The need to expand spaces for human activities cannot be met in ways that would seriously endanger our own existence or that of other living species on earth. Our desire to ensure energy for all must not lead to the undesired effect of a spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty.” The pope also added.
During the conference meeting with the “big players” in the oil sector of the world, Pope Francis also emphasized on the need for the world to transit to low carbon product. Creating a cleaner and much safer ecosystem will not only benefit us but it will also protect the poorest inhabitants.
“This is a challenge of epochal proportion,” the pope stated. “At the same time, it is an immense 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” Pope Francis also added.
It is important also to know that recently, oil firms changed from absolute resentment to the science of climate change to take action on the issues of global warming. For instance, Exxon Mobil who backed the climate denial think tanks from 1998 and 2005 has already endorsed the Paris Agreement.
Also, the Pope applauded the efforts of companies that are fighting against global warming, but he emphasized that the efforts put into the fight are still not enough as much work is needed to be done if they are to win.
Pope Francis also stressed on the aspect of social justice when it has to do with global warming, emphasizing that it would have drastic effects on poor inhabitants and that renewable energy is needed to elevate these poor inhabitants without disrupting the climate and the environment that they live in.