Blog Archive: Churches Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Bright Now




Christian theologians, scientists and environmentalists reflect on ethics of fossil fuel investments

Disinvest to reinvest

In a new Bright Now paper, Christian theologians, scientists and environmentalists consider the question ‘Is it ethical to invest in fossil fuels?’, arguing that the Church must transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy as a matter of life and faith.

As the international fossil fuel divestment movement grows, Churches around the world are considering the ethics of their investments in oil, gas and coal. Recognising that the vast majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves need to be left underground to prevent catastrophic climate change, and that climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable communities, many are electing to sell these investments and instead use their funds to support renewable energies and other clean technologies.

This paper brings together experts from different denominational backgrounds and regions around the world to consider the ethics of the Church’s investments in fossil fuels. Read more





Decision by Swedish Pension fund to drop fossil fuel companies shows financial and ethical considerations are now aligned and puts onus on Churches to demonstrate prudence.

Nearly 50 Churches and faith-based organisations around the world have now decided to disinvest from fossil fuel companies. They have done so for compelling theological, moral and scientific reasons. They are aware that climate change is already here and will intensify rapidly, hurting in particular poor communities in geographically vulnerable regions.

Maybe these organisations have also been aware of the financial reasons for disinvestment – that the fossil fuel companies are continuing to invest heavily in finding new reserves, despite the evidence that, if we are going to keep the increase in global warming below 2 degrees centigrade, over half of the world’s known reserves will have to be left untouched in the earth. This evidence has recently been endorsed by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England.

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Christians celebrate the growing number of fossil-free Churches with a divestment party on the steps of St Paul’s!

On Saturday 25 October Christian Climate Action and Divest London threw a party on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the growing number of Churches disinvesting from fossil fuels around the world. Christians, vicars, students and families celebrated with cakes, songs, party games and a ‘commitments catwalk’ of fossil-free Churches.

Speakers included representatives from Quakers in Britain and Brighthelm United Reformed Church in Brighton, who told partygoers why they have moved their money away from fossil fuels. Geoff Barnard, a trustee of Brighthelm, which was the first UK church congregation to divest, said the church was inspired by Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign. He added, ‘It’s clear that the burning of fossil fuels is not sustainable. We divested from fossil fuels because we don’t want our money to support an industry that is destroying the planet. We were surprised to be the first church to take this step and hope others churches will soon join us by divesting from fossil fuels.’

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As Oxford City Council decides to disinvest, where is the Church’s leadership?

Oxford City Council’s decision to preclude direct investment in fossil fuel companies is a very welcome development. Following earlier announcements by, among others, the World Council of Churches, the University of Stanford and the British Medical Association, this signals that there is a growing momentum towards disinvestment.

The council’s decision reflects a recognition, both that fossil fuels threaten our future and that fossil fuel companies are not the safe investment they have hitherto been. This latter fact was recently dramatically confirmed by the news that the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation would also be disinvesting from fossil fuels and re-investing in clean energy. In the words of a friend and parishioner of mine: ‘… when smart money gets out, we need to follow before there is a crush at the door’. Read more




As thousands march for climate action the Church of Sweden ditches fossil fuel companies

As hundreds of thousands of people marched in New York, London, and cities across the globe this weekend to call for a global deal on climate change, the Church of Sweden has become the latest national Church to eliminate fossil fuels from its investment portfolio.

The Church announced this week that it has removed gas companies from its portfolio to make its $691 million of assets fossil free.

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Doctors’ divestment exposes Churches’ ‘never’ regions

The vote by members of the British Medical Association to divest from fossil fuel companies leaves UK Churches with stakes in oil, coal and gas, and those who say ‘never’ to disinvestment, looking exposed.

The decision at the BMA’s annual meeting in Harrogate on 25th June, follows an editorial in the British Medical Journal earlier this year which called for divestment. It is backed by the Climate and Health Council, as well as health charities Medact and Healthy Planet UK. Read more