The Philippine Catholic Church will cease its involvement with banks that are funding coal and fossil gas by 2025 if they do not commit to divest from dirty energy, said one of the leaders of the assembly of Catholic bishops of the Philippines.
“Without clear commitments and policies from these banks to divest from fossil fuels, we commit to withdraw all our resouces that are with them not later than 2025, and hold them accountable to their fiduciary duties and moral obligations as climate actors,” said Bagaforo, chairman of CBCP’s commission that promotes social justice.
The archbishops of key archdioceses Jaro, Iloilo and Zamboanga are also listed as major stockholders of the bank, as of December 2021.
In a pastoral letter, the CBCP also said that it will steer resources of the Church to renewable energy and ecological restoration and protection and move away from extractive industries, including logging and mining.
“We will not accept donations of any kind from owners or operators and any representative of extractive industries especially coal, fossil gas, mining, quarrying, logging, regardless of scale of operation,” the letter read.
Withdraw from Coal, a coalition of civil society groups, environmental advocates, and faith-based organisations, said it “hopes that these banks would finally listen to the voice of reason from the community of faith, in which belongs some of their biggest clients and stakeholders.”
“To date, the majority of Philippine banks found to have been linked to coal and fossil gas companies and projects remain mum on whether they are making an effort to turn their backs to dirty energy, while others have yet to come up with sufficiently ambitious policies and plans,” said Bishop Gerry Alminaza, convenor of Withdraw from Coal.
“We challenge them to take the CBCP’s Pastoral Letter on Ecology as an invitation to exhibit genuine leadership in advancing climate action by ending their fossil fuel funding and paving the path to a future powered by clean energy from renewables.”