Father Pedro Walpole says investment decisions can help combat climate change
Jesuit institutions should withdraw from investments in the fossil fuel industry, according to environmental campaigner Father Pedro Walpole. In a video produced by Ecojesuit, Father Walpole stresses that climate change, as evidenced by extreme weather events such as typhoons, requires immediate action to stem the use of fossil fuels.
Challenging world oil executives to recognize the urgent environmental need to quickly transition from fossil fuel extraction and burning, to clean energy production, Pope Francis called them to take to heart that “civilization requires energy, but energy must not destroy civilization.”
Ecology and Jesuits in Communication (Ecojesuit) is urging Jesuit institutions to commit to making ethical investments. Divestment is one strategy that “can give the social apostolate a critical focus and a greater ability to enable others, including the Church, to participate in being the occasion for change,” says Fr Pedro Walpole SJ, Coordinator of the global Jesuit network for Ecology and Research Director at the Environmental Science for Social Change within the Philippine Jesuit Province, in a video on Ecojesuit.
Addressing some 40 participants in a Vatican conference dedicated to “Energy Transition and Care for our Common Home”, Pope Francis said “civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization”.
Close to 600 institutions have signed the Catholic Climate Declaration, which renews Catholic support for continuing U.S. actions to address climate change despite backpedaling by the the Trump administration.
When Gonzaga students began urging their University to live up to its mission and divest from the companies with the largest stores of carbon fueling the climate crisis, it was not clear whether the student body, faculty, and staff would support them. Three years on it is now clear: the representative bodies of Gonzaga’s students, staff, and faculty all support fossil fuel divestment.