Monday 18, 2020: Today 42 faith institutions from 14 countries, including 21 from the UK, announce their divestment from fossil fuels. This is the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions.
Today’s multi-faith announcement comes from Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, United Reformed, Baptist, Quaker and Buddhist institutions, among others, with over £1.1 billion in assets under management. In February this year, Jesuits in Britain divested its £400 million ($517.5 million) equity portfolio from fossil fuels.
The group includes institutions in the UK, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, Spain and the United States.
As governments around the world make substantial investments in an economic recovery, faith communities urge them to think long term and focus on a recovery that is low-carbon and just.
This annoucement comes as the Vatican is consulting a wide range of organisations, including FaithInvest, on the kind of post-Covid economy that will be needed through the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, established in March.
Mark Campanale, founder and executive chair of Carbon Tracker, an independent think tank that analyses the financial impact of an energy transition, said, “A comprehensive economic recovery means taking the long view, investing now in infrastructure that will serve communities for years to come. Fossil fuels do not have a place in the long-term health of humanity. Faith institutions’ commitment to create a better world is leadership that governments should follow.”
The divestment announcement was coordinated by The Global Catholic Climate Movement, the World Council of Churches, Green Anglicans, Operation Noah and GreenFaith. The group includes the Catholic Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, the Jesuits in Britain, three United Reformed Church (URC) Synods, Oasis Churches and Global Charity, four Quaker meetings, three Methodist churches and Westminster College Cambridge (a URC theological college).
The Bishop of Arundel & Brighton, Rt Revd Richard Moth, said: ‘Care for the world that has been given to us is an increasingly pressing need. It is therefore timely that the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton divests from fossil fuels. This positive step will contribute to the common good and, I trust, pave the way for further practical action to safeguard this and future generations.’
Earlier this month, a new report from Operation Noah showed that none of the major oil companies are compliant with the Paris agreement targets.
You can read the full press release here.