Jun 14, 2019

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

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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Taking precaution, in the Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and the window to prevent a global pandemic is narrowing.

Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World