Friday, 14 December, 2018

Pope warns energy bosses of global destruction without fuel shift

Pope warns oil executives: Climate change may ‘destroy civilization’ | TheHill Pope tells top oil executives world must convert to clean fuel
Laurie Berry | 11 June, 2018, 17:56

"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.

"Yet even more worrying is the continued search for new fossil fuel reserves, whereas the Paris Agreement clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground", Francis told the Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home conference. 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.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the architects of "Laudato Si'", as the pope's environmental encyclical is known, opened the energy conference Friday at Casino Pio IV, a villa that houses the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

"We know that the challenges facing us are interconnected", he said, according to Reuters.

Pope Francis said that about a billion people are living without electricity and that lacking this basic need hinders their ability to move out of poverty, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Energy needs to be pure, generated by a systematic reduction of fossil fuel use".

Participants included the CEOs of Italian oil giant ENI, British Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Norway's Statoil as well as scientists and managers of major investment funds.

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The oil and gas industry has come under growing pressure from investors and activists to play a bigger role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet goals set out in a 2015 climate agreement signed in Paris.

"Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation!"

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

Though oil and gas companies had made "commendable" progress and were "developing more careful approaches to the assessment of climate risk and adjusting their business practices accordingly", he said, those actions were not enough.

The pope also explained that climate change is a poverty issue because it is the poor who are most affected by global warming.

"This is a challenge of epochal proportions". The impacts of the climate change will have a disproportionate effect on the poor residing across the globe.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that global energy demand rise will grow 30 percent by 2040. He noted that the poor pay the highest price for climate change, often being forced to migrate due to water insecurity, severe weather and an accompanying collapse in agriculture.

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