A multi-sectoral coalition of environmentalists from civil society, the academe, lay and religious of the Catholic Church as well as concerned citizens and supporters from the private sector has launched a movement urging Catholic financial institutions to divest from enterprises involved in environmentally destructive practices and operations in the Philippines.
The call to action is based on the landmark encyclical of Pope Francis issued in 2015, Laudato Si: On care for our common home, where the pontiff takes the strongest stance to date against consumerism, environmental degradation and global warming or climate change caused by irresponsible human activities.
“It is time for us to live out the challenge posed to us by Pope Francis and to take tangible steps toward achieving a more sustainable planet not just for us but most importantly, for future generations,” said environmentalist and human rights activist Rodne Galicha, who is also the head of The Climate Reality Project–Philippines which is one of the lead convenors of the movement.
Another lead convenor is Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, president of De La Salle Philippines and industry organization Philippine Business for Social Progress.
The group is urging supporters to withdraw investments and cease patronage of Philippine businesses in industries such as mining, coal fired power plants and other enterprises that have records of polluting the environment.
“With global warming, we in the Philippines are in the forefront of risk and vulnerability from natural calamities and disasters,” explained Galicha. “This is no longer a threat but a reality that we have been experiencing especially recently with floodings, landslides and other phenomenon.”
“We need to take action against climate change. Otherwise, we stand to continue suffering from the effects of global warming,” he added.
Alternatively, the Laudato Si movement encourages Filipino consumers and investors to make prudent choices in supporting and patronizing businesses involved in sustainability initiatives. These best practices ensure conservation of natural resources, positive impact on the health and well-being of communities of operation, and long-term progress and inclusivity for all sectors of society.