Our webinar brought together expert panelists to discuss the best options for enhancing a pathway for the Catholic community to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. 

This discussion also wonders how to move all Catholic institutions onto the renewable energy and zero carbon pathway?

In this context, Tomás Insua, executive director of LSM, raises the position of the Catholic Church and of Pope Francis, who has adopted a very clear position on the matter.

Supporting divestment to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature increase below 1.5°C.

Watch the full event here, don’t miss it!

With some very interesting interventions, the conversation began with contributions from Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.

Dr. Birol stressed that climate change is essentially an energy problem and that we need to change the way we produce. He shared three key actions to achieve this and initiate a dialogue where the lives of millions of people and investors’ money are at risk. 

“Energy is responsible for about 80% of GHGs, causing climate change. Climate change is essentially an energy problem.” Dr. Birol

The participation of Daniela Andrade from the Churches and Mining Network continued, narrating the heartbreaking stories and the unfortunate situations that families in the Amazon face on a daily basis, as an example of the consequences of the extractive industry that generates irreversible impacts on socio-biodiversity. 

“The cry of Mother Earth and the cry of the poorest are rooted in an economic system in which we are involved”.  Daniela Andrade

Meanwhile Richard Brooks, the Director of Climate Finance, Stand.earth, presented the cases that move the investment narrative, provides an international context and Maine’s divestment legislation and highlights that if New York was able to move away from fossil fuels, any place in the world can.

“The incredible growth of this movement that we are all part of … is driven by these major developments like New York State. With Laudato Si’ we saw a huge increase in commitments from faith-based organizations”.  Richard Brooks

The intervention of Sister Joan Brown of the Franciscan Order in New Mexico was inspiring and above all full of hope: from the Catholic faith she shared with us her experience in the divestment process. 

She tells how they used education and research to learn more about the subject and above all to promote the pension program for the retired sisters, their intention was not to make money but they had extraordinary results, they are an example to follow. 

“My community has abandoned fossil fuels. The reasons we did so were several: the urgency of climate change, the spiritual and moral responsibility to do everything we can.” Joan Brown

The webinar featured the final participation of Kyle Rosenthal from the Catholic Divestment Network and from the academic perspective on his experience at Boston University where divestment has been promoted at different levels as universities have great potential, in addition to presenting an approach that integrates religion and the academics. 

“Laudato Si’ really set things straight for us and maybe now we put it aside a little bit but we have to see what it really looks like to make these commitments that Pope Francis is calling us to”. Kyle Rosenthal