Church Disinvestment in fossil fuels

What is your Church doing re disinvestment in fossil fuel companies? Here is some info from the Operation Noah team:

United Reformed Church votes to divest from fossil fuels

The United Reformed Church unanimously voted to divest from fossil fuel companies at its Mission Council meeting on Tuesday 14 May.

The resolution on divestment was proposed by the URC Synod of Scotland, which decided to divest its own fossil fuel investments in 2015. It states that the United Reformed Church should divest by the time of its General Assembly in 2020, and encourages other URC Synods and churches to follow their lead.

Revd Dr David Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland, said: ‘I strongly welcome the new United Reformed Church policy to end investments in fossil fuels and increase investment in the clean technologies of the future. This will enable us to shift our engagement towards companies in other high-carbon industries such as the automotive sector.’

Church of Scotland narrowly votes against fossil fuel divestment

The Church of Scotland voted narrowly against divestment from fossil fuels at its General Assembly in Edinburgh on Wednesday 22 May.

The motion calling for divestment was tabled by Revd Gordon Strang, who worked in the North Sea oil and gas industry before becoming a minister. During the debate, the Assembly heard from speakers living in parts of the world already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, including Mozambique, Kenya and Australia.

A majority of General Assembly members opted to support the Church’s current strategy of engagement, with 303 votes in favour, compared to 263 members (46%) who supported divestment. A motion for full divestment last year gained 24% of votes, suggesting growing support for climate action.

Revd Gordon Strang said: ‘It is hugely disappointing that, in the midst of a climate emergency, they couldn’t grasp the urgency of the situation and move forward. We all know that engagement will not achieve the results we want, and it is my earnest hope that next year’s General Assembly will finally be able to see that.’

Catholic institutions in major maritime areas divest from fossil fuels

12 Catholic institutions connected to the world’s oceans have announced their commitment to divest from fossil fuels. They include the Archdiocese of Panama, Caritas Philippines, the Dioceses of Naples, Civitavechia-Tarquina, Savona and Siracusa (Italy), the Catholic Church in Greece and the Archdiocese of Malta.

The announcement coincided with an international conference in Copenhagen entitled ‘The Common Good on our Common Sea’, where participants came together to celebrate and discuss life on and around the seas, as well as exploring Catholic teachings on protection of the marine environment. The conference was convened by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, the Vatican’s social and environmental ministry.

In a speech to finance ministers in the Vatican in May 2019, Pope Francis urged those present to ‘stop engaging in activities that are destroying our planet’ and ‘put an end to global dependency on fossil fuels’.

Has your local church divested from fossil fuels yet?

Check out our new Divest your church resources, including an interactive map where you can find out which churches have already divested, and how your local church can join them. You can also find a full list of UK Church divestment commitments by denomination at the bottom of the page.

The next joint divestment announcement for faith institutions will take place in September 2019, so watch this space for further details!

Screenshot 2019-05-31 at 11.12.19

Screenshot 2019-05-31 at 11.12.19