Pope Francis has urged people to pull investments from companies that are not committed to protecting the environment, adding his voice to calls for the economic model that emerges from the coronavirus pandemic to be a sustainable one.
Pope Francis spoke in a video message for an online TED event called “Countdown Global Launch, A Call to Action on Climate Change” on Oct. 10.
“We are living in a historic moment, marked by difficult challenges as we all know. The world is shaken by the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which highlights yet an even bigger challenge — the socio-environmental crisis. And this requires all of us to face a choice — the choice of what matters and what doesn’t,” the pope said.
“The choice between continuing to ignore the suffering of the poorest and to abuse our common home, our planet, or engaging at every level to transform the way we act,” he said.
“Science tells us, every day with more precision, that we need to act urgently … if we are to have any hope of avoiding radical and catastrophic climate change.”
The pope listed three action points: better education about the environment, sustainable agriculture and access to clean water, and a transition away from fossil fuels.
“One way to encourage this change is to lead companies towards the urgent need to commit to the integral care of our common home, excluding from investments companies that do not meet (these) parameters … and rewarding those that (do),” he said.
The pope said that the current economic system is unsustainable.
“We are faced with a moral imperative … to rethink many things,” he said, listing means of production, consumerism, waste, indifference to the poor, and harmful energy sources.
The 200-page document titled “On the Journey for Care of the Common Home” also guides the public on how to perform personal tasks to achieve concrete measures, such as diet, recycling, and divestment on dirty energy sources, among others.
From Sept. 1 to Oct. 4, Christians around the world will observed the “Season of Creation” with the theme “The Hope of a Jubilee Time for the Earth and the Poor.”
You can watch the pope’s message in full here: