By Leslie Ann Aquino
The move of Catholic prelates to divest from “dirty energy” sources such as coal earned praise from an environmental think- tank.
The Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) said the decision of the bishops is a great help to their cause.
“The moral leadership of the Church lends great weight to our cause for a coal-free Philippines,” said CEED Executive Director Gerry Arances.
“No amount of short-term profit justifies the long-term compromise of the health of our people and the earth’s climate,” he added.
The group expressed hope that the move would be the beginning of a trend.
“My 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,” said Arances
The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, yet it is also one of the few countries in the world where investments in coal continue to rise.
According to the group, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is the most recent institution of the Catholic Church to make the move away from coal.
In 2015, the Vatican published Laudato si’ (Praise Be to You), an encyclical subtitled “On care for a common home,” which stated that the warming of the planet is a symptom of the world pursuing short-term economic gains at the expense of harming the planet.
The bishops of Belgium, Ireland, and Australia have preceded the CBCP in these divestments, along with 120 other Catholic institutions around the world.