The Pope shared his vision to save the world’s energy

Pope Francis

He spoke to the business leaders on the second day of an energy summit - "Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home" - co-sponsored by Notre Dame University.

Climate change was a challenge of "epochal proportions", he said, adding that the world needed an energy mix that combated pollution, eliminated poverty and promoted social justice.

In 2015, Larry Fink, an investor for Blackrock, an American global investment management corporation, who was also at the meeting Saturday, wrote a document called "Laudato Si" (Praised Be) about protecting the environment from global warming.

"The energy question has become one of the principal challenges, in theory and in practice, facing the global community", the pontiff said.

Pope Francis said that about a billion people are living without electricity and that lacking this basic need hinders their ability to move out of poverty, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Francis said Saturday that while the oil and gas companies have made progress toward cleaner fuel and more climate-friendly business practices, there was still more work to do. He also warned that in an effort to bring energy sources to everyone, we must be careful not to raise global temperatures, damage the environment, or increase the number of people living in poverty.

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with Youth Eucharistic Movement at the Vatican in August 2015.

The oil and gas industry has faced increased pressure from investors and ecological activists to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as outlined in the 2016 Paris climate agreement.

ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Equinor and Pemex were among the companies attending the conference.

'Civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization, ' pontiff says.

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"The climate debate is long on targets, but short on action", the company said. "It is the poor who suffer most from the ravages of global warming, with increasing disruption in the agricultural sector, water insecurity, and exposure to severe weather events", he said.

While Francis lauded the oil executives for embedding an assessment of climate change risks into their planning strategies, he also put them on notice for their "continued search for fossil fuel reserves", 2½ years after the Paris climate accord "clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground".

In his address, Francis said that an "energy transition" is urgent to avert "disastrous climate changes that could compromise the well-being and future of the human family and our common home".

"The effects of climate change are not evenly distributed".

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