The pope also highlighted what he called the “ecological debt” between richer and poorer countries.
“In this regard, I believe that the financial industry, which is distinguished by its great creativity, will prove capable of developing agile mechanisms for calculating this ecological debt, so that developed countries can pay it, not only by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy or by assisting poorer countries to enact policies and programs of sustainable development, but also by covering the costs of the innovation required for that purpose,” he wrote.
He argued that true development could only be achieved through the pursuit of the “universal common good.”
“It follows that public money may never be disjoined from the public good, and financial markets should be underpinned by laws and regulations aimed at ensuring that they truly work for the common good,” he said.
He continued: “It is time to acknowledge that markets -- particularly the financial ones -- do not govern themselves. Markets need to be underpinned by laws and regulations that ensure they work for the common good, guaranteeing that finance -- rather than being merely speculative or financing itself -- works for the societal goals so much needed in the context of the present global healthcare emergency.”
Referring to his Christmas “Urbi et Orbi” message, in which he called for “vaccines for all” threatened by COVID-19, he said that the poor should benefit from “justly financed vaccine solidarity.” He insisted that the law of the market should not come before “the law of love and the health of all.”
Concluding his message, he wrote: “It is my hope that in these days your formal deliberations and your personal encounters will bear much fruit for the discernment of wise solutions for a more inclusive and sustainable future.”
“A future where finance is at the service of the common good, where the vulnerable and the marginalized are placed at the center, and where the earth, our common home, is well cared for.”