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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.”
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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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.