HomeNewsPhilippine faith communities to form coalition on fossil fuel divestment

Philippine faith communities to form coalition on fossil fuel divestment

Faith leaders agreed to establish a platform to unite all ecological efforts against dirty energy in the country

A summit on “climate emergency” in the Philippines this week called for the creation of an inter-religious coalition to advance “fossil fuels divestment” and foster “ethical investment” in the country.

Faith leaders who attended the second Philippine Interfaith Summit on Climate Emergency on November 24, agreed to establish a platform to unite all ecological efforts against dirty energy.

Rodne Galicha, executive director of the group Living Laudato si’, noted that various faith groups have their own best practices on fossil fuel divestment and “ecological financial stewardship.”

But he said there was “no opportunity” to consolidate all these efforts and “amplify the voice of the religious sector … against ecological threats.”

“The main objective of the summit is to provide a venue where faith institutions can act as one body,” said Galicha, adding that policymakers will listen “if we have one loud voice.”

Representatives from about 200 Church and faith institutions attended the online meeting organized by Living Laudato si and Uniharmony Partners Manila.

Dr. Pablito Baydado of Uniharmony Partners Manila said faith institutions have been “doing immensely in addressing the climate issue.”

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“The fundamental question is, ‘Are we working together?’” he said.

“You are already making efforts in your own community, but do we see now the concrete cooperation among and between the [religions],” he said in his talk during the meeting.

In his message, Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam expressed hope that cooperation among faith communities “be sustained by concretely acting on commitments while influencing and urging others to do the same.”

Father Kureethadam is coordinator of the Sector of “Ecology and Creation” at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development,

The priest encouraged faith institutions to “learn from each other (and) raise awareness and understanding on our vital role in solving the climate crisis.”

“[Let us] unify ourselves into a movement that will take collective and strategic action to address the ecological crisis,” he said.

He called on the building of “an economy of communion, an economy based on genuine stewardship, an economy that listens to both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

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