Don’t Let Energy Use ‘Destroy Civilization’, Pope Urges Fossil Execs
Humanity’s energy use must not be permitted to “destroy civilization”, Pope Francis told fossil and investment executives at the close of a two-day meeting on climate change last week.
“Civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization,” he said yesterday. “There is no time to lose.”
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Though he described fossils’ moves to date toward decarbonization as “commendable”, the pope said they’re not enough. “Will we turn the corner in time? No one can answer that with certainty,” he said. “But with each month that passes, the challenge of energy transition becomes more pressing.”
Moreover, “if we are to eliminate poverty and hunger, the more than one billion people without electricity today need to gain access to it. But that energy should also be clean, by a reduction in the systematic use of fossil fuels,” he added.
“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.”
Francis lauded the transition to clean, accessible energy as “a duty that we owe towards millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, poorer countries, and generations yet to come”.