Major international financiers, asset managers and executives in charge of public pension funds are also expected to attend. The conference, titled “Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home”, is being held in the Pontifical Academy of Science. The meeting is not open to the press. It was not yet confirmed if the pope’s speech to the group would be made public after the event. Pope Francis strongly supported the Paris Climate Accord and has implicitly criticized the United States for withdrawing from the agreement.
Previously, in 2015, the Pope publicly focused on the environment and sustainable development, decrying environmental degradation and global warming while criticizing consumerism and irresponsible development. Pope Francis also warned of unprecedented destruction of ecosystems if prompt climate-change mitigation efforts are not undertaken. “If energy companies are serious about caring for our common home, they need to take the pope’s advice and hurry up with shifting their priorities – and therefore their money – from fossil fuels to renewables,” Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at Catholic aid agency CAFOD in London, said in a statement.