Three religious leaders and three lay people were arrested on Thursday 5 September, at the site of Adani’s proposed Coal Mine in Central Queensland. Reverend Alex Sangster, Dharmacari Tejopala and Dharmacari Aryadharma refused a move on order by police, along with Christians, Mark Delaney, James Thom and Angela Merriam.
Women Religious and prominent Catholic theologians are among diverse faith leaders who have signed a joint letter asking Mr Gautam Adani to abandon his proposed new coal mine in North Queensland and invest in renewable energy instead.
The start of a push for Catholic divestment from coal, oil and gas extractive industries is now well under way. Another boost was given at World Youth Day via a letter signed by over 120 youth organisations delivered to Pope Francis. In it, they urged him to support fossil fuel divestment and asked him to ensure the Vatican’s own financial institution cuts its ties with extractive industries. A call from young people will no doubt be significant to Pope Francis.
Few papal proclamations have reverberated more strongly throughout the world than Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. Released a year ago, the encyclical was part of a deluge of statements from the major faith traditions in the lead up to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Pope Francis has joined the battle to save the planet from the current ecological crises by releasing his encyclical, Laudato Si’: On the Care of the Common Home. For the first time, a pope has dedicated an entire encyclical to them. It is one of a number of interventions initiated by the pontiff during this year.