Pope tells oil executives: Energy needs mustn't destroy civilization

Pope Francis

Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the architects of "Laudato Si'", as the pope's encyclical is known, opened the conference 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 urged oil and finance chiefs to back a faster transition to clean energy at a conference in the Vatican on Saturday.

The Vatican said Francis held a two-day conference with the executives as a follow-up to his encyclical three years ago that called on people to save the planet from climate change and other environmental ills. On Thursday, Norwegian energy company Equinor said the global transition to more sustainable energy was happening too slowly to meet the 2 degree target agreed to in the Paris Climate Accord.

The papal conference comes a little more than a year after President Trump's announcement that the US would pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world's first global pact to address climate change.

Environmental degradation and climate change hurt the poor most of all, he said, telling the group to consider the impact of their economic decisions.

Putin says willing to meet Trump whenever U.S. is ready
Rouhani also hailed Russia-Iran cooperation in Syria, saying that "our role in the region is quite significant". Putin said he shares Trump's expression of concern about a renewed arms race expressed in a March phone call .

"There is no time to lose", Francis told them Saturday. Failure to adequately address the issue will mean a "catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty", he said. And still, he said, as many as one billion people still lack electricity.

"As we know, everyone is affected by the climate crisis", he declared. "At the same time, it is an huge 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".

In the document, Fink wrote that access to clean energy was "a duty that we owe towards millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, poorer countries and generations yet to come". Trump refused to even attend the formal G7 talks on climate change, report InsideClimate News, BusinessGreen, DeSmog Blog and Think Progress.

Pope Francis has told oil executives the world should convert to renewable fuels, calling the continued search for fossil fuels "worrying". "We reaffirm the commitment that we have made to our citizens to reduce air and water pollution and our greenhouse gas emissions to reach a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century".

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