The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urged Catholic institutions in the country to withdraw their investments in financial institutions funding dirty energy.
In a paper, the Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice, and Peace of the bishops’ conference said the banks should be made “accountable to their fiduciary duties and moral obligations as climate actors.”
The commission is set to release a document titled “A Call for Unity and Action for a Planet in Crisis” during the launch of its Laudato si’ national program on February 28.
“Steer resources of the Church to genuinely sustainable ventures by actively urging financial entities to adopt sustainable finance policies and invest in renewable energy,” read the document obtained by LiCAS.news.
The document includes instructions on how dioceses and parishes advance “ecological conversion through stewardship of our resources.”
“Examine all banks and institutions in whom we have entrusted financial resources, and assess the social and environmental implications of their financing activities,” read the document.
The bishops urged Church institutions to “use our positions as shareholders, clients, or stakeholders … to demand for policies and plans to phase out their exposure to coal.”
The document said the full alignment of all nations to the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement is “necessary to truly respect our planet’s ecological limits.”
In June 2019, the bishops’ conference issued a pastoral letter titled “An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion, Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency” urging all Church institutions not to invest in coal-fired power plants, mining companies, and other “destructive extractive projects.”
In the new document, the prelate said it is “unacceptable and unaligned” with the values of the Catholic Church if its financial resources are used for dirty energy and destructive industries.
The called on dioceses and parishes to “lead by example” by investing in renewable energy, such as solar power and other sustainable systems.