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Big Oil backs carbon pricing, climate disclosures in meeting with Pope Francis

Top executives of Big Oil and investment companies ended a meeting Friday with Pope Francis by signing a joint statement supporting carbon pricing and transparent investments, according to the Vatican.

Driving the news: The shared statements signal a successful outcome for organizers, which included the Vatican and the University of Notre Dame, after last year’s initial meeting convened by Francis ended with no official, shared statement.

The intrigue: This document includes the statements and a complete list of signatories, which includes most of the world's biggest oil and gas companies — along with investment firms.

  • Yes, but: Actual change comes with action in boardrooms and governments — not meetings and statements. Time will tell whether this gathering really influences policies around the world and investments.

The big picture: Climate change has been a pillar of Francis’ leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. He wrote an encyclical — a papal letter sent to all bishops — on the importance of addressing the issue, a first in the history of the Church.

  • Since then, and particularly since President Trump entered the White House, oil companies have come under intense pressure — from investors and the public alike — to support action on climate change.

Go deeper: Big Oil teeters between enemy and ally in climate fight