Giving Compass’ Take:
• Angely Mercado writes about how a group of Dominican nuns developed a fund for solutions to climate change and social injustice.
• What are you doing to support equitable solutions to climate change? How can these Dominican nuns inspire you and others to fund environmental justice today?
• Learn more about how you can embark upon the path towards more equitable climate solutions.
It’s been five years since Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si,” the celebrated 225-page encyclical in which the pope called for environmental justice and fundamental social change in the face of global warming. To mark the occasion earlier this month, the Vatican urged Catholics around the world to take practical steps to fulfill this mission — including by divesting from fossil fuel-based industries. And in the U.S., 16 congregations of Dominican nuns (named for their patron saint, Saint Dominic) debuted a collaboration with Morgan Stanley to create a $130 million “climate solutions fund.”
In a press release, the bank called the fund a “first of its kind collaboration … to find investment solutions which focus on climate change and aiding marginalized communities that are disproportionately impacted by global warming.” Examples of the fund’s “holistic” approach to climate solutions could include “early stage investments in energy efficiency software” as well as “more mature opportunities like fruit producers with water-saving hydroponic irrigation systems.”
“This fund is engaged in impact investing rather than screening,” said Angelo Collins, a member of the leadership council for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters in Wisconsin. “The fund advisors and managers are looking to support and provide investments in corporations that are doing positive good.”
Collins said that many Dominican congregations in the U.S. consider social justice a central tenet of practicing their faith, and that the fund will bring social justice to the forefront of the church’s investing efforts.
“Every dollar invested in our climate program will seek to have a concrete climate impact measurement ranging from tonnes of CO2 emission offset and litres of water saved, to reduction in air pollution levels, in addition to generating compelling private markets returns,” said Vikram Raju, the investment group’s head of impact investing.
Read the full article about Dominican nuns and environmental justice by Angely Mercado at Grist.
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