Laudato si’ (Praise Be to You) On Care for Our Common Home was published by His Holiness Pope Francis in 2015. In Laudato Si’, the pope criticises consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls on all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action.” Laudato Si’ created pivotal and profound global impacts and it had an important contribution to the success of the Paris Agreement in COP21.

At the end of 2021, His Holiness Pope Francis published Laudato si’ Reader – An Alliance of Care for Our Common Home, presenting reflections and reactions of how the Holy Father’s ideas have been disseminated, advocated and practiced in various settings around the world. The authors are a mixture of academics and practitioners, scientists and youth, organisations and economists, farmers and indigenous peoples, parents and politicians, Christians and interfaith communities.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, who directs Vatican’s humanitarian programs invited Henrik Ehrnrooth, Chairman of the CLC Advisory Board, to write a chapter on how the Encyclical has impacted Nordic business leaders. The chapter starts by describing the awakening of business leaders and the foundation of the Climate Leadership Coalition in Finland in 2014. The chapter goes on to illustrate how the approach changed from negative “burden sharing” to a positive search for new business opportunities in the business sectors in which the transformation was evident. In addition, the chapter contains ideas and viewpoints on how to accelerate climate investments via effective carbon pricing and how to develop an ecologically sustainable bioeconomy.

“In addressing his encyclical to all people, the pope expects a universal commitment to an ecological conversion, so that everyone may offer their own contribution to the care of the common home, each according to their own vocation. The responsibilities lie with everyone: at the individual, local, regional, national, and international level, in relations between Northern and Southern countries, within countries, developed and developing, among the most fragile and the most vulnerable in society, including “the aboriginal communities with their cultural traditions”, within faith and scientific communities,” writes Cardinal Turkson, Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in the Introduction chapter.

Nordic business leaders have been taking up Pope Francis’ challenge of addressing the roots causes of the ecological crisis for a number of years and are pushing the business world to focus their efforts on climate mitigation and socially useful production, as opposed to unsustainable growth and profits.

”Early Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian industrialisation was based on heavy and energy-intensive industries such as forestry. These industries were also often polluting. The pollution was unpopular, and harmful and led to strict environmental legislation. Thus, in the Nordics, the transition towards closed, circular and less energy intensive and green processes had started already back in the 1970s. The transition to sustainable industry meant costly initial investments but through new innovative engineering solutions the end result has been an economic success and the birth of sound new businesses. This has created a good foundation for a climate-related transformation. It is an honour to share our experiences globally in the Laudato si’ Reader,” says Henrik Ehrnrooth, Chairman of the CLC Advisory Board.

”I recommend the Laudato si’ Reader for everyone interested in climate mitigation. The book includes a preface from Pope Francis, a special message from António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and a chapter by Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council, France, describes how the Laudato Si’ helped in the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, the book includes dozens of other viewpoints and articles around the world. Sincere thanks to Cardinal Turkson for inviting CLC to contribute,” says Jouni Keronen, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Leadership Coalition.

CLC is a non-profit association and its 89 organizational members employ 530,000 people globally. CLC’s corporate members represent about 70% of the market cap of OMX Nasdaq Helsinki. CLC’s members believe that transitioning society towards a sustainable economy and consumption habits is not only possible but also economically viable. The key viewpoints in CLC thinking are described At the Crossroads – book, published in autumn 2021.

More information: Jouni Keronen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition, jouni.keronen@clc.fi +358 50 453 4881 and Kari Mokko, Development Director, Climate Leadership Coalition, kari.mokko@clc.fi, +358 40 751 3281.

References:

Laudato si’

Laudato si’ Reader – An Alliance of Care for Our Common Home

At the Crossroads