LONDON -The Pope has told oil company bosses that climate change threatens the future of the “human family”.

The oil executives had been invited to the Vatican in Rome for an audience with the pontiff. Pope Francis said a radical energy transition is needed to save what he called “our common home”.

The head of BP agreed that the world must find urgent solutions to environmental problems - but said all must play a part. The Pope warned him and other bosses: “Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation.” The oil bosses were brought to the Vatican alongside fund managers who invest in their stocks. The companies represented were believed to include Eni, Exxon, Total, Repsol, BP, Sinopec, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, and Chevron.

A small group of demonstrators gathered outside a Vatican gate. One held a sign reading “Dear Oil CEOs - Think of Your Children”. The executives were given a dressing down by the former Irish premier Mary Robinson.