Find out more about the global movement to fossil fuel divestment, why the church needs to divest, and the tools to help you campaign for change on fossil fuel investment.
Bright Now Report (Updated Jan 2015) (PDF) – the campaign report sets out the moral, theological, scientific, financial and practical case for churches to divest from fossil fuel companies, and examines why they must actively seek to support clean, alternative forms of energy generation through their investment portfolios.
The ethics of divestment
Is it ethical to invest in fossil fuels? A summary of reflections from Christian theologians, scientists and environmentalists (PDF) – this paper explores how Church investors can respond ethically to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change, gathering together reflections from Christians of different denominational backgrounds and regions around the world.
Is it ethical for the Church to invest in fossil fuels? A collection of reflections from Christian theologians, scientists and environmentalists (PDF) – in this longer paper, theologians, scientists and environmentalists explore in greater depth, as a series of short essays, the ethics of Church investments in fossil fuels.
Reflective paper on the ethics of fossil fuels – Bishop David Atkinson asks how the Church of England should decide whether investments in fossil fuels are ethical.
The financial case for disinvesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in low-carbon sectors (PDF) – this report expands on the financial issues related to fossil fuel investment and explores opportunities for reinvesting in renewables and other low-carbon sectors.
Otherwise Engaged – this report examines whether church engagement with fossil fuel companies is working, or if it’s time for churches to divest
Divest your church (PDF) – a how to guide for local churches on divestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment for a brighter future. Printed copies can be requested.
Building support for disinvestment – useful ideas on how to raise awareness and build support to encourage action in your church community and local area.
Methodist guidance (PDF) – a guide to raising the issue of fossil fuel divestment in the Methodist Church.
Church of England guidance (PDF) – a guide to raising the issue of fossil fuel divestment in the Church of England.
Climate science briefing for Christians (PDF) – an outline of the basic science of human-induced climate change drawing upon up-to-date research, biblical references and reflections from a Christian perspective.
Power Point Presentation – useful slides to introduce climate change and the fossil fuel divestment movement to help when giving a talk at a meeting or event.
Hard-copy of the petition to the Church of England (PDF) Download this petition to take to events or meetings in your church community.
Role play – a thought-provoking role play for use with groups.
Bible study – biblical texts and teachings relevant to divestment.
The Church of England, Investments and Fossil Fuels – Bishop David Atkinson responds to the Church of England’s new policy on climate change, exploring a wider theological perspective on the climate crisis
Response to the Methodist report ‘Fossil Fuels and the Future’ – giving five reasons why the Methodist Church needs to go further, move faster and be more radical.
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu on divestment
- Fossil Free Tour event in London (full recording)
- Do the Math 350.org
- Why New Zealand churches should not invest in fossil fuels
Other campaigns on divestment
- Fossil Free
The fossil free campaign from 350.org with background information and resources for religious institutions.
A campaign about pension funds’ investment in fossil fuels.
- People & Planet’s Fossil Free campaign
The student-led fossil free campaign focusing on divestment by UK universities and colleges.
- Greenfaith – Divest and Reinvest Now!
Church investment information
- Church of England: Ethical Investment Advisory Group
The EIAG advises the Church of England’s national investment bodies on ethical investment policies.
- Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church
The CFB provides professional investment management for organisations within Methodism.
- Quakers in Britain investments
- Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility
ECCR leads and collaborates with others in advocacy and awareness-raising on issues of business, human rights and environmental stewardship.
- Your Faith Your Finance Excellent resource on money, faith and ethics. Includes section on ‘Influencing your church’s investments’, with information for different denominations.
Church statements on climate change
- Church and Earth 2009–2016 (PDF)
The Church of England’s seven-year plan on climate change and the environment.
- Shrinking the Footprint The Church of England’s national environmental campaign.
- Sharing God’s Planet: a Christian vision for a sustainable future, Church of England Mission and Public Affairs Council (PDF)
- Hope in God’s Future A report and study guide from the Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church.
- Climate Change – Hope in God’s Future Climate change statement on the Methodist Church website.
- Quakers in Britain Commitments on sustainability on the Quakers’ website
- Climate Change: the challenge for ethical investment. Methodist Church
- “Well-meaning but somewhat naïve”? Bishop David Atkinson provides a detailed critique of the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) briefing paper: The Papal Encyclical – a critical Christian response by Bernard Donoughue and Peter Forster. (First published on the John Ray Initiative website and reproduced here with their permission). Atkinson-response-to-GWPF-paper-20 21-08-2015 (PDF)
Church case studies
- Quakers in Britain to divest from fossil fuels
- Uniting Church of New South Wales and ACT, Australia
- Unitarian Church, Australia, divests from fossil fuels
- United Church of Christ, America
- New Zealand churches
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th assessment reports: examining the physical science basis; impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and mitigation.
- Unburnable carbon 2013: wasted capital and stranded assets. Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change and the Environment
- Turn Down the Heat: why a 4 degree warmer world must be avoided (PDF)