MANILA An environmental think-tank on Thursday supported the stand of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to divest dirty energy sources such as coal.
The Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), a group advocating for the use of renewable energy, lauded the efforts of the bishops' group to protect the environment.
The moral leadership of the Church lends great weight to our cause for a coal-free Philippines, CEED executive director Gerry Arances in a statement.
No amount of short-term profit justifies the long-term compromise of the health of our people and the Earth's climate, he added.
Arance added that he hopes this will pave the way for a trend "where all investors will reject coal and other fossil fuels " and choose the Earth's welfare over profit.
On Wednesday, the CBCP announced its decision on the matter after their three-day Plenary Assembly in Manila last weekend.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines executive secretary, said the divestment is included in their 10 action points for Laudato Si' campaign that the CBCP adopted.
He noted that the dioceses would instead place its money in renewable sources of energy.
The Catholic priest admitted that divestment will take some time to accomplish since there are legal procedures that must be observed.
The Philippines is one of the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, yet it is also one of the few countries in the world where investments in coal continue to rise.
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.
The CBCP holds its plenary assembly in January and July of every year. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency