At the heart of global warming is oil and gas exploration activities.

This is why the Catholic Pontiff; Pope Francis is hosting executives of the world’s top oil companies for a conference on June 8 and June 9 on climate change and the transition away from fossil fuels.

Pope Francis, who wrote a major document on protection of the environment from global warming in 2015, is expected to address the group during the conference.

A Vatican source said on Friday that the conference, organised by Notre Dame University in the United States, is expected to be attended by the heads or senior executives of companies including ExxonMobil, Eni, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Pemex.

The oil and gas industry has come under increasing pressure from investors and activists to play a bigger role in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gasses in order to meet goals set out in a 2015 climate agreement signed in Paris.

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Companies are betting on increased demand for gas, the least polluting fossil fuel and to a lesser extent on renewable power such as wind and solar to meet global targets of net zero emissions by the end of the century.

The conference, titled “Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home”, will be held in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a 16th century villa in the Vatican gardens known as the Casina Pio IV.

In the 2015 encyclical, called “Laudato Si (Praise Be), On the Care of Our Common Home”, Francis, the first pope from a developing nation, advocated a change of lifestyle in rich countries steeped in a “throwaway” consumer culture and an end to an “obstructionist attitudes” that sometimes put profit before the common good.

Big grammar, right? The pope just said there is need to protect the earth.

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