Oil company execs visit the Vatican, where Pope Francis tells them to get on board with clean energy transition

Pope Francis implored oil industry executives, who visited the Vatican on Friday, to get on board with the transition to clean energy to fight climate change. Unfortunately, his plea fell on greedy deaf ears.

For years, the oil industry has ignored climate change, even ignoring their own internal science that warned about it as early as 1977.

Now, as the United Nations warns that one million species are at risk of extinction because of climate change and some governments push to switch to clean energy, Pope Francis is asking oil company executives to join the movement rather than continue denying the problem and exacerbating it.

Climate change “threatens the very future of the human family,” the pontiff told the executives, according to Vatican News.

“We must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations,” he continued. “It is the poor who suffer the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We require courage in responding to the increasingly desperate cries of the Earth and its poor.”

“Open, transparent, science-based and standardized reporting is in the common interests of all,” Pope Francis said. “Time is running out! Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done.”

What needs to be done is the ceasing of fossil fuel production and a total switch to clean energy, such as battery power that runs electric cars.

Pope Francis concluded by pointing out that he has expressed concern about climate change before, and urged immediate action to save the world.

“I expressed the concern that ‘civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization,'” he reminded them. “Today a radical energy transition is needed to save our common home. The climate crisis requires ‘our decisive action, here and now’ and the Church is fully committed to playing her part.”

The Church is ready, but oil executives don’t care. They left without signing any pledge or plan to take action as Pope Francis pleaded for them to do, choosing greed over the future of our planet.

“They’re still lobbying for business as usual,” Greenpeace spokesperson Mel Evans told The Guardian. “When it comes to saving the planet they will do what they are forced to do, and no more, which is why we’re having to block them from drilling new oil wells as we speak. Expecting leadership from them is a path to certain disaster.”

Indeed, governments around the world are going to have to grow a spine and put this 19th century energy source into retirement permanently, because oil executives refuse to change. They have been allowed to ruin the environment all around the world in a desperate search for the last drops of a finite resource that should have been phased out decades ago. We are paying the price for their greed, and it’s time for the citizens of this world and the governments that represent us to do something to stop it once and for all.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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