THE CATHOLIC Church and other non-government organizations are calling on financial institutions to divest from coal-fired plants and focus on investing in renewable energy.
In a briefing on Thursday, Global Catholic Climate Movement Pilipinas (GCCM-Pilipinas) National Coordinator John Din said “We, the institutions representing the Catholic clergy and lay people, express our unity in [asking] financial institutions to direct their investment toward renewable energy and refrain from destructive and costly projects that rely on fossil fuel.”
He added, “We call on our National and local banks to consider the environmental and social impact brought about by coal-fired plants and coal mining. and to begin to move away from such financial projects.”
On Thursday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA); the Archdiocese of Manila; and the Diocese of San Carlos were joined by other organizations for the launch of their “Malinis at Murang Kuryente” campaign. These organizations were the Power for People Coalition, GCCM-Pilipinas, CEED, Sanlakas, PMCJ, Bantay Kita, No Burn Pilipinas, Oriang Womens Group, Murang Kuryente Partylist, and Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers.
In 2017, new coal plant project starts declined by 62% globally, though such plants are still in the pipeline in the Philippines.
“The issue of energy is not only political and not merely economical. Partly, it is a moral issue,” Mr. Din added.
CBCP said in a statement on Thursday that the Malinis at Murang Kuryente movement will “will cascade through all dioceses and parishes, schools and religious groups to put pressure to financial institutions to divest from coal and invest to clean energy.”
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo A. Alminaza said that the CBCP will soon release a pastoral letter calling on financial institutions to divest from fossil fuel projects. — Gillian M. Cortez