“We must match our investments with our values” - Religious group launches Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit for climate justice

Faith & the Common Good
January 25, 2022

A New Toolkit is designed for faith-based institutions to align their investments with their mission and vision, in light of the global climate crisis.

Recognizing the moral obligation and urgency of faith-based institutions to do their part in addressing the climate crisis and climate injustice, the Mouvement Laudato Si’ Movement - Canada and Faith & the Common Good have developed the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit. It guides divestment from fossil fuels in favour of sustainable investments and a broader understanding of profitable returns.

Faith groups are encouraged to signal government and corporate leaders, using financial choices, that public investment can no longer be used to prop up an industry taking us down the path of devastating harm. Activities such as commenting on Canada’s 2030 Emission Reduction Plan are valuable, “but we should also be prepared to take action ourselves,” says Agnes Richard, MLSM Canada Coordinator.

“We must match our investments with our values,” Richard says. “Instead of profiting from the harm the fossil fuel industry does to the environment, we choose to uplift the dignity and grace of all creation.” With this new guide, divestment needn’t be complicated: “We’ve done your homework for you,” she says. “Now it’s your turn. Use this Catholic Eco-investment Accelerator Toolkit to do some soul searching, and then lead by example.While referencing Catholic Social Teaching, the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit  is for any institution seeking to align investments with the moral and financial challenge of climate change expressed by Pope Francis. It also offers opportunities to respond to a truly Canadian concern. Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #92 through partnership with Indigenous businesses.

Formatted in three sections – See, Judge, Act – the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit covers climate and fossil fuel facts, responsible investing, a step-by-step guide to divestment, and a resources page. It includes sections on discernment, Indigenous investment, and considerations for re-investment.

The Toolkit aligns with the global, faith-based divestment movement that demands an end to new fossil fuel projects, and related financing. “As people who come from many different faiths and beliefs, it is our responsibility to work together for the common good of people and the planet.” says Michelle Singh, Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good. “Responding to the climate crisis by divesting from fossil fuels now aligns our beliefs with our actions.”

TESTIMONIALS

“The Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada heartily endorse the Toolkit!”

Sr. Margo Ritchie, CSJ, Congregational Leader of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada

“The Canada-specific content in this Toolkit is a valuable resource for faith-based organizations planning to align investment strategies with respect for our environment and support for the underserved and those experiencing poverty. Organizations can leverage their capital to earn market returns and serve the causes they care about at the same time.  It may be supporting the growth of sustainable Indigenous businesses or seed technologies to spur a Just Transition. This Toolkit is helping organizations make investments to serve people, not the other way around.”

Claire Barcik, Executive Director, The Catherine Donnelly Foundation

“This Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit, that will enhance a call for fossil fuel divestment in Canada, is a powerful act of faith that will advance the end of the supply side of fossil fuels in the petrol state. People of faith are divesting at scale from dirty coal, oil, and gas and reinvesting in climate solutions and finally conclude that there is no future for a greenwashing of fossil fuel companies and governments that subsidize climate injustice. As Pope Francis said, ‘enough of the thirst for profit that drives the fossil fuel industry’s destruction of our common home.’”

Tomás Insua, Laudato Si’ Movement Executive Director

“As faith communities we share a deep responsibility to use the resources we have been blessed with for the common good. This means not investing in activities which harm the planet, its climate and its ecosystems. This Toolkit is a wonderful resource for all faith communities keen to understand how to align their faith and investments with a shift away from harmful sectors such as fossil fuels.” 

Dr. Lorna Gold, president of the Laudato Si’ Movement Board of Directors

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Download the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit.

About the Mouvement Laudato Si’ Movement (MLSM) CanadaMLSM Canada’s mission is to work in partnership with allies, the Laudato Si’ Movement internationally, and Catholics across Canada in order to respond to Pope Francis’ urgent call for social, political, and ecological transformation, and to animate the insights articulated in Laudato Si’ and other Catholic social teachings. We seek to ignite, inspire, and grow as a community of persons and institutions who act courageously to care for our common home.About the Laudato Si’ MovementFormed in early 2015, and inspired by Pope Francis, the Laudato Si’ Movement is an international coalition of individuals and organizations working “to inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and achieve climate and ecological justice.”About Faith & the Common GoodFaith & the Common Good (FCG) is a Canadian national, interfaith charitable network dedicated to assisting and inspiring religious congregations and spiritual groups of all backgrounds to take collective action in creating more sustainable communities. We harness the power of diverse faith and spiritual groups through education, capacity building, and collective action to build more resilient and sustainable communities.About the Catherine Donnelly FoundationThe Catherine Donnelly Foundation is a lay-religious alliance in Canada that supports projects and programs designed to promote social and ecological justice and to engage those that have been overlooked and excluded. The Foundation strives to transform the lives of those most in need by proactively supporting creative initiatives in the areas of housing, adult education and the environment.

Media Contact:
Agnes Richard, Coordinator, Mouvement Laudato Si’ Movement - Canada
mlsm-canada@faithcommongood.org
1 289 439 8782