Pope backs carbon tax to stem ‘global warming’
VATICAN CITY, June 14 (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Friday 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 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.
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 said attendees of the closed-door meeting at its Academy of Sciences, a follow-up to one a year ago, included the CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, BP, Repsol, Conoco Phillips, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and executives of investment funds.
“Collectively, these leaders will influence the planet’s future, perhaps more than any in the world,” said Father John Jenkins, president of the U.S. University of Notre Dame, which organised the meeting.
A small group of demonstrators gathered outside a Vatican gate. One held a sign reading “Dear Oil CEOs – Think of Your Children”.
Francis, who has made many calls for environmental protection and has clashed over climate change with leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump, said the ecological crisis “threatens the very future of the human family”.