With less than a year to the presidential election, a Catholic bishop in the Philippines said the “climate crisis” should be a big voter issue.
Speaking in a webinar for Laudato Sí Week on May 19, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos appealed to voters to be “very careful in choosing the next leaders.”
Organized by the CBCP-National Laudato Si Program, the webinar aimed at demystifying fossil fuel divestment in the global and Philippine contexts as well as show the “deadly” consequences of financing dirty energy on the environment.
A leading figure in the divestment fight, the bishop said the issue could be largely influenced by political leadership.
“It’s important that we elect leaders who understand the situation we are in and will really make policies and clear stand on behalf of our common home,” Alminaza said.
“We can’t afford anymore to dilly-dally, there’s urgency. It’s not anymore a climate emergency, it’s already a climate crisis,” he said.
The prelate said people should not allow their money to be used on something that will destroy the planet “and will deprive the next generation of a healthy environment”.
He encouraged the public to band together and take initiatives to protect the environment.
“The more we are together, the more effective our voices are,” Alminaza said.
In 2019, the country’s Catholic bishops pledged to pull out their investments from “dirty energy,” like companies funding coal-fired power plants.
The bishops urged church organizations not to allow their financial resources to be invested in favor of mining companies and other destructive extractive industries.