Addressing some 40 participants in a Vatican conference dedicated to “Energy Transition and Care for our Common Home”, Pope Francis said “civiliazation requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization".
The two-day conference that wrapped up on Saturday, was promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in collaboration with Notre Dame University.
It saw the participation of senior executives of leading oil and gas companies including ExxonMobil, Eni, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Equinor and Pemex.
In his speech, the Pope told them that climate change was a challenge of "epochal proportions” and said that the world needs to come up with an energy mix that combats pollution, eliminates poverty and promotes social justice.
He said that modern society with its “massive movement of information, persons and things requires an immense supply of energy,” and still, he pointed out, as many as one billion people lack electricity.
Meeting the energy needs of everyone on Earth, he said, must be done in ways “that avoid creating environmental imbalances resulting in deterioration and pollution gravely harmful to our human family, both now and in the future.”
The Pope concluded his address quoting from his Encyclical Laudato Sì: "There is no time to lose: We received the earth as a garden-home from the Creator; let us not pass it on to future generations as a wilderness".