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Pope Francis To Discuss Climate Change With Big Oil

At a time when investors are piling pressure on Big Oil to take climate change seriously, top executives from some of the major global oil companies will be discussing climate change next week at the Vatican with Pope Francis, who called on Catholics in 2015 to join the fight against climate change, Axios reported on Friday, quoting several people familiar with the plans.  

According to Axios’s sources, attendees include, among others—BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley; Eldar Sætre, CEO at Equinor (formerly Statoil); Larry Fink, chief executive at the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock; and Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Energy Secretary under President Obama. ExxonMobil will also be represented at the meeting at the Vatican that Pope Francis will be hosting, according to multiple sources who spoke to Axios.  

While other spokespersons either declined to comment or didn’t comment on the report, a spokesman for BP told Axios that Dudley was “looking forward to the Vatican dialogue. He believes gatherings of this kind help develop a better understanding of the energy transition and the best ways for corporations, countries and wider society to participate in it.”

A spokesman for Moniz has also confirmed his attendance.

A few months before the Paris Agreement was struck in 2015, Pope Francis wrote a so-called papal encyclical letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics saying that climate change is real and “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods.”   

Related: OPEC Sends Oil Prices Crashing

The meeting at the Vatican comes just after large global investors—representing a combined US$10.4 trillion worth of assets under management—urged oil and gas companies last month to start acting responsibly in tackling climate change.

“Investors are embracing their responsibility for supporting the Paris agreement. It is time for the entire oil and gas industry to do the same,” sixty large investors wrote in an open letter to the Financial Times.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Lee James on June 02 2018 said:
    Burning petroleum has been a great ride.

    Fortunately, some of the larger petroleum companies know we are beginning to transition in earnest to clean energy. Big oil companies can already see the deteriorating economics of going after remaining resource. Worsening oil industry extraction and transport economics are occurring against a backdrop of a world that is concerned about the total cost of acquiring and burning fossil fuels.

    Good news is, energy industries are beginning to modify their course. Oil companies are looking at becoming broader-based "energy" companies, as exemplified by Statoil's recent name change and reduced emphasis on petroleum.

    We find many benefits from burning oil. But the question now is, what's the net benefit? The net is not nearly as robust as it once was; today we acknowledge growing downsides of fossil fuel dependency.

    I think the Pope will ask large oil companies about the social and health consequences of burning large amounts of petroleum. Who benefits, and is the distribution of benefits and downsides equitable?

    He may even touch on how world peace is affected by our propensity to go to war over oil. An added dimension along these lines is how oil-producing countries quickly turn relatively easy oil money directly into weapons, either purchased or manufactured at home. Russia and Iran are examples for this.

    Oil has a history of not only being unclean, but also bringing out he worst in us when it comes to international relations and behavior. The world must come clean, if we are to survive.

    I'm far from being Catholic, but I believe Pope Francis is a good man to listen to on these matters.
  • Chris on June 01 2018 said:
    This Pope is so clueless about "climate change" or global warming, as he is clueless about the Catholic Church doctrine. May be he should focus first, how to get Catholic Church out of trouble first, stop the slaughter of Christians around the world, before he opens his mouth about anything else. Using his moral authority, he subscribed to the elitists plan to keep the masses in the dark, and in financial slavery, because the hot air trading will just make their life so much more expensive, and miserable. This is all about who's got the power to control the masses?
    Here comes the papa with his superior moral authority. Leftists, communist propaganda brings another "big gun" that supports their agenda of "fixed" climate science, and here comes the Pope Manipulator Francis. What a shame? This pope is doing irreparable damage to the Catholic Church faithful.

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