We write to you as stakeholders of your institutions, as members of our communities, and as concerned citizens of this world, whose lives are influenced and impacted by your decisions and actions, in the spirit of the Laudato Si’, the encyclical of Pope Francis, on caring for our Common Home to address the climate emergency and environmental degradation.
We join the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines through its Pastoral Letter, “An urgent call for ecological conversion, hope in the face of climate emergency,” that now is the time to “protect our fragile ecosystem from the threat of the continuing ecological crisis” and that “we have the moral imperative to act together decisively in order to save our common home”, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what happens when maximizing profits is solely prioritized over the health of the planet and the people.
We also stand in solidarity with the interfaith community through the “Philippine Interfaith Declaration on Addressing Climate Emergency” in its calls for “supporting all efforts in forging a path towards low-carbon development”, including “an urgent reduction of our use of fossil fuels, especially coal, and a rapid development of cleaner renewable energy”, aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels under the Paris climate agreement.
There is a great degree of irony and injustice that the Philippines, one of the countries at highest risk to climate change and other forms of environmental degradation, continues to lag behind or go against the global direction towards sustainability, often at the expense of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society. No amount of money is worth risking the immediate and long-term health and well-being of the people and the planet.
Now more than ever …
- We ask you to use our money wisely. We must not put profit ahead of the common good to avoid worsening existing global and local crises.
- We demand your commitment to divest from environmentally-destructive activities such as coal through specified targets and timelines, with respect to a just transition.
- We also ask that you invest your resources in ecologically-sound ventures to help create an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable future.
With the prestige and reputation of your institutions, others may be persuaded to follow your lead.
Why is this important?
Because our present and future is at stake and the time for action is now, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.