Vatican calls on Catholics to divest from fossil fuels
The Vatican on Thursday urged Catholics to divest from fossil fuels, a call made in church documents warning against the dangers of climate change.
The 225-page encyclical, which is sent to all bishops within the church, also encouraged divesting from arms and monitoring sectors like mining to ensure they are not damaging the environment.
The document, “Journeying Towards Care For Our Common Home,” argues people “could favor positive changes … by excluding from their investments companies that do not satisfy certain parameters,” according to Reuters.
That includes environmental factors, along with monitoring for human rights abuses like child labor.
It goes on to suggest that Catholics “shun companies that are harmful to human or social ecology, such as abortion and armaments, and to the environment, such as fossil fuels.”
Pope Francis has repeatedly urged action on climate change, calling on countries to uphold the Paris climate accord and admonishing oil and gas executives.
“Time is running out. Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done and concentrate on what needs to be done from today onward,” he told a group of oil executives gathered at the Vatican last year.
“We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now,” he said.
The Vatican has said it does not invest in fossil fuels.
The latest document marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical calling for protection of nature, life and defenseless people.