The Economy of Francesco

young people, a pact, the future

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young people, a pact, the future

international events

September 22-24 2022, - Assisi

September 22-24 2022, Assisi

"The Economy of Francesco"

young people, a pact, the future

Breaking news:

published today the letter with which Pope Francis summons young economists and entrepreneurs to Assisi to propose a pact for a new economy. Economy of Communion participates in the organizing committee of the event together with the Diocese and the Municipality of Assisi and the Seraphic Institute.

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"My commitment to the climate in the sign of St. Francis.”

EoF: Stories - Maria Carvalho works in South Pole, a consulting company where she deals with energy and climate change policies

by Maria Gaglione

published in Avvenire on 14/12/2019

Penguins and ice. Visiting the official South Pole website, we thought we would attend a lecture on climate change and innovative low carbon technologies. Instead, in a video call from London, Maria starts off by asking a question: "What if St Francis was an economist?” Maria Carvalho works at South Pole, a consultancy firm that deals with energy and climate policy.

Originally from India, she has lived and worked in London since 2006. Raised between Saudi Arabia and Canada, she is a young woman of great faith. She reveals to us how her life is continually inspired by the saint of Assisi: "I know the story of Francis, which is a message of universal brotherhood, today even more than yesterday. I decided to become a social scientist to fight poverty and inequality in the world. I felt that this commitment would be the response to a profound vocation of mine". After graduating in Economics, she received a Master's and a PhD in Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BAH in Economics and Development from Queen's University in Canada. But how? - we ask her - You wanted to fight poverty, how come you ended up working for the climate? "The cry of the poor and the cry of the earth are the same cry, this is very clear today. The commitment to the climate of governments and businesses has a moral dimension. The failure to reconcile sustainable development and climate change has pushed, and continues to push, hundreds of millions of people into poverty with devastating social and economic consequences globally".

At least half a billion people live in areas where desertification is currently underway. Arid and desert lands are more vulnerable to climate change and to pay the price for it are above all the poorest people in Africa and Asia who are forced to migrate. According to scientists, adopting low carbon technologies, focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable food production and reducing deforestation could mitigate the impact of climate change. But all this is deeply threatened by policies that continue to put off making strong and binding commitments to abandon polluting practices and irresponsible exploitation of natural resources. "On the other hand,” Maria recalls, “millions of new jobs, so-called green jobs, have already been created through climate action in many sectors. In my more than 12 years of experience in research and consultancy, I have found that while economic growth has freed many men and women from poverty, it has failed to address the ecological and social problems of inequality and sustainability. South Pole's consulting services help governments design effective climate policies to meet international targets and work to support businesses and communities to ensure that production and consumption patterns and systems also comply with current regulations. "Our team of over 300 social entrepreneurs around the world is continuously working to develop and deliver innovative solutions that comply with environmental regulations. This commitment has resulted in more than 700 projects in different sectors (renewable energy, forestry, agriculture, industry) that have led to $15 billion of investment in clean energy. The interventions that have had a positive impact on the lives of 20 million people around the world helped create almost 100,000 jobs in developing countries, led to the saving of over 170 million tons of CO2, allowed the production of 140,000 GWh of renewable energy and protected or recovered 55,000 km2 of land". "Participating in The Economy of Francesco is a great opportunity for those who want to build a new, modern, competitive and sustainable economy. We should not be shy, or else we would have risked wasting this unique opportunity". What risk are you referring to? "We should also be revolutionaries, and, starting from the Franciscan message, give a new orientation to our economy”.

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