— by John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Catholic Theological Union
Photo Info: Wind turbines in Patras, Greece. Photo by Jason Blackeye
The Care for Creation movement achieved significant victories involving three major oil companies during the last week of May, 2021.
A court in the Netherlands upheld a lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s largest oil company, requiring it to reduce its emissions by 45% in the coming years. The case was brought by a group of seven environmental organizations and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens who are co-plaintiffs. In addition, shareholder revolts at both Chevron and ExxonMobil resulted in the election of pro-care for creation supporters to their boards.
While Shell expects to appeal the court’s ruling, these three events will likely mean significant movement away from fossil fuels to green energy sources in all three companies. Appearing on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program, the noted ecological activist Bill McKibben said that, while this will not solve all the challenges we are facing in care for creation, it represents a very significant move toward our goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
Pope Francis has been a major voice for elimination of fossil fuels and has consistently urged divestment from such stocks.
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