Pope to oil execs: Energy needs mustn't destroy civilization

11 June, 2018, 15:33 | Author: Wade Massey
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          Pope to oil execs Energy needs must not destroy civilization

"Civilisation requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilisation", he told the participants of the conference held behind closed doors at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

"I think that all can agree that there needs to be a shift from fossil fuels to alternative forms of energy, but the debate is how long is that transition period going to be", Finn said.

But both companies - along with most other multinational energy companies - continue to search for sources of fossil fuels even though, as Laudato Si' pointed out, much of the fossil fuel already discovered must stay in the ground if the world is to keep warming to within 2.7 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as stated in the Paris Agreement. He said that those responsible for the world's energy supplies should work to provide efficient energy for all people while protecting the planet, especially from climate change.

Energy experts and those who advocate fighting climate change expressed doubts before the conference that it would amount to anything other than a PR opportunity for the companies to burnish their image without making meaningful changes.

"Francis reminds us in his encyclical that "Business is a noble vocation", but also asks why anyone would want to be remembered for failing to act when the world's poorest people are being pushed deeper into poverty by climate change". And he told those gathered at the Vatican, "there is no time to lose". Failure to adequately address the issue will mean a "catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty", he said.

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Many had complied, he said, including by expediting plans to stop coal burning at the university power plant.

"The transition to accessible and clean energy is a duty that we owe towards millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, poorer countries and generations yet to come", he said.

"This is a challenge of epochal proportions", he said Saturday.

"As we know, everyone is affected by the climate crisis", he declared.

"If energy companies are serious about caring for our common home, they need to take the Pope's advice and hurry up with shifting their priorities - and therefore their money - from fossil fuels to renewables". "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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