Group lauds Church’s decision to divest from fossil fuel

By Christina Hermoso

The Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) lauded the local Church’s decision to divest from fossil fuel and other environmentally-destructive sources.

Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (MANILA BULLETIN)
Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (MANILA BULLETIN)

“The Church’s decision is a welcome development in the fight against coal and the cause to protect the planet. The moral leadership of the Church lends great weight to our cause for a coal-free Philippines,” said Gerry Arances, CEED executive director.

“No amount of short-term profit justifies the long-term compromise of the health of our people and the earth’s climate,” Arances said in a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post.

Filipino bishops agreed to divest from dirty fuel sources such as coal during their recent plenary assembly in support of Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental care and protection “Laudato Si.”

The CBCP is the fourth Church institution to announce plans to divest from fossil fuel, joining the bishops of Belgium, Ireland, and Australia in the global campaign for renewable sources of energy. In recent months, over 120 Catholic institutions around the world have already stopped investing in companies that produce destructive energy sources.

The CEED said the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, yet it is also among the few nations where investments in coal continue to rise. “Our hope is that this is the beginning of a trend where all investors will reject coal and other fossil fuels, choosing the earth over their pockets,” Arances stressed.

The Church’s decision is part of a 10-point action plan of Caritas Philippines “Laudato Si” campaign that the bishops adopted. The campaign involves promoting and adopting renewable energy in Catholic schools, and diocesan, and parish centers, the creation of a program for the Church’s response to the call of “Laudato Si,” and the establishment of ecology desks in every diocese among others.