World-leading oil executives meeting at Vatican

World-leading oil company executives will be attending a conference at the Vatican on Friday and Saturday this week.

The executives are from companies such as Exxon Mobil, Eni, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Pemex.

The executives have been invited to the “Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home” conference because the oil and gas industry needs to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to honour the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Pope Francis, whose second encyclical Laudato Si’ (Care for our Common Home) was released in 2015, is expected to address the conference on Saturday.

He has made climate change a cornerstone of his papacy.

In Laudato Si’ Francis says there is a “very solid scientific consensus” that the planet was warming and the Catholic Church should view it as a moral issue.

He also says people must “combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it” because greenhouse gases were “released mainly as a result of human activity.”

He has called for policies to drastically reduce polluting gas.

One of the key architects of the pope’s encyclical, Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Vatican’s department on promoting human development and a firm backer of the need to stem global warming, will address the group, the source said.

Last year, Francis, who strongly supported the Paris agreement on climate change, implicitly criticised the United States for pulling out of the accord.

The chancellor of the academy where the conference will be held, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, called the US withdrawal a “huge slap in the face” for the Vatican.


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