On October 4th, Pope Francis published his exhortation Laudate Deum, demanding climate action in the wake of inadequate responses to 2015’s Laudato Si. In Laudate Deum, addressed “to all people of good will,” Pope Francis reiterates that climate change is a human-caused social issue with implications for the dignity of human life and cites scientific facts to refute climate deniers such as statistics showing historic highs in atmospheric carbon concentration, temperature warming, and sea level rise. He places responsibility for this crisis on wealthy countries and defends poor women and children whose emissions are minimal.
Laudate Deum presses for global coordination to create multilateral agreements with more efficacy, calling for a binding energy transition from the 28th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28). Pope Francis also dedicates a section to “reconfiguring multilateralism” from below, engaging civil society to mend the international community’s shortcomings. Notably, he condemns the emphasis on technological approaches that prioritize economic power over people and the planet and cautions against complete reliance on technology for climate solutions.
Mercy Investment Services’ engagements, guided by the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concern for Earth, support Pope Francis’ call for climate action alongside the global movement toward a more sustainable economy. Mercy Investment Services, through a multipronged approach to socially responsible investing, currently engages over 70 companies on issues related to healthy planet, signals its commitment to creation through intentional voting on climate-related proxy items on annual ballots, and dedicates portions of its portfolio to investments in people and communities impacted by the climate crisis through Mercy Partnership Fund and in solutions to the climate crisis through the Environmental Solutions Fund.