We are delighted to share this article by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, one of Asia's leading publications, after FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer was interviewed on faiths, investments and climate change.
Entitled How religious groups are fighting climate change, and one man who is helping direct their substantial assets into beneficial projects, the article by reporter Kylie Knott describes how 'many people have lost faith in the ability of governments to fight climate change', particularly as big banks continue 'to pour money into fossil fuels'.
At the same time, faith is also fading in the Paris Agreement, the treaty formed in 2016 to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.
However, while governments may be failing to meet the challenge, the world's faiths are increasingly more active on the environment, and also have significant assets, with 'billions of dollars invested in the global stock markets', which can be used to mitigate the climate crisis.
Right use of money
As FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer tells her, 'Faith groups are increasingly taking action on the climate and ecological crises. Faiths think of future generations – and they think about the right use of money'.
Martin cites the example of several religious groups that he and FaithInvest have been working closely with, including Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Daoist, and Islamic organisations.
While a growing number of people and smaller grassroots organisations are playing a role in the eco-faith movement, he says many faith leaders have led the charge.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomeus, was the first leader to make clear that protection of nature was fundamental to Orthodox teachings. He created the first religious Day of Celebration and Prayer for Nature [also known as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation] in 1992, which reaches over 12,000 parishes throughout the Orthodox world,' he says.
'Pope Francis, with his 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, literally unlocked the Catholic Church as one of the driving forces for planetary awareness and protection.'
Paying tribute to Daoism
Martin also paid tribute to the work of Daoism, 'the most environmentally active faith in China', and the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the leader of one of the four major Buddhist schools of Tibet, who has been a driving force across the Himalayas.
To read the full article, click here.