Pope Francis has told the world’s oil executives that a transition to less-polluting energy sources “is a challenge of epochal proportions.”
On the last day of a two-day conference Saturday, the Roman Catholic leader urged the executives to provide electricity to the one billion people who are without it, but said that process must be done in a way that avoids “creating environmental imbalances resulting in deterioration and pollution gravely harmful to our human family, both now and in the future.”
Reuters reports the unprecedented conference was held behind closed doors at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The news agency says the oil executives, investors and Vatican experts who attended the summit, believe, like the pope does, that science supports the notion that climate change is caused by human activity and that global warming must be curbed.
Pope Francis told the conference, “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.”