Pope Summons Fossil, Investment CEOs to Discuss Climate Action
Pope Francis is summoning representatives of major fossil companies and investment firms to the Vatican later this week to talk about what the companies can do to address climate change.
Axios broke the story Friday, styling the meeting as “one of the most significant developments showing how corporations are working with other world leaders on climate change,” in spite of the U.S. government’s withdrawal from climate leadership under Donald Trump.
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Meeting participants are expected to include CEOs Larry Fink of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, Bob Dudley of BP, Darren Woods of ExxonMobil, Eldar Sætre of Equinor, the Norwegian state fossil formerly known as Statoil, and Ben Van Beurden of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.
Axios says the meeting will address the energy transition and the notion of a “shared home” the Pope put forward in his 2015 encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be).
“The Pope, BlackRock, and big oil companies are increasingly focusing on climate change as cleaner sources of energy have become more competitive, the impacts of a warmer world have become more apparent, and public pressure to address the issue mounts,” Axios states.
But “while it’s a significant meeting, it’s still just a meeting. Deep political stalemate persists in the United States on the issue. Tensions are flaring over lawsuits alleging big oil companies are liable for climate change, and some environmentalists say the industry’s greener moves aren’t big or fast enough. To what degree the Vatican gathering prompts change and new developments is a big question mark.”