Pope backs carbon pricing as 'essential' to cut global warming
Pope Francis has said that carbon pricing is "essential" to stem global warming - his clearest statement yet in support of penalising polluters - and appealed to climate-change deniers to listen to science.
In an address on Friday to energy executives at the end of a two-day meeting, he also called for "open, transparent, science-based and standardised" reporting of climate risk and a "radical energy transition" away from carbon to save the planet.
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Carbon pricing, via taxes or emissions trading schemes, is used by many governments to make energy consumers pay for the costs of using the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming, and to spur investment in low-carbon technology.
The Vatican did not release the names of those who attended the closed-door meeting at its Academy of Sciences, a follow-up to one a year ago, but industry sources said the companies represented were believed to be the industry giants Eni, Exxon, Total, Repsol, BP, Sinopec, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, and Chevron.
A small group of demonstrators gathered outside a Vatican gate. One held a sign reading "Dear Oil CEOs - Think of Your Children".
Pope Francis, who has made many calls for environmental protection and has clashed over climate change with leaders such as US President Donald Trump, said the ecological crisis "threatens the very future of the human family".