BREAKING: Christian campaigners drop banner during Synod to urge Church to divest from fossil fuels


Yesterday a group of young campaigners protested against Church investments in fossil fuels at Church House, London during the General Synod. The group, including members from Christian Climate Action (CCA), dropped a protest banner from the public gallery and held a prayer rally outside Church House demanding the Church pull its investments from fossil fuel companies such as BP and Shell.

Holly Peterson, from CCA said: ‘Fossil fuel companies cannot continue with ‘business as usual’ if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change.

‘If the Church believes in ethical investment and cares about the impacts of climate change on people and planet then why do they still invest in fossil fuels? They are not practising what they preach.

‘We are calling on the Church of England to show courageous leadership and take action now by moving their investments. This is the only way to send a clear message that the continued extraction of fossil fuels is no longer morally acceptable’.

The banner read: ‘We are young Christians.  For us and our children, climate change is the biggest threat we face.  Please pray and act for all those afflicted by climate change now and in the future.  As a church community, we cannot continue to invest in fossil fuel companies.  So we ask you, on our behalf, to divest now. ‘May God defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy’ (Is. 24:2-5)’.

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A crowd of 50 Christians also gathered outside Synod for a prayer rally, carrying candles in green glass jars and banners calling on the Church to divest.

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Two thirds of the world’s fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to prevent catastrophic climate change, yet companies such as Shell and BP plan to extract all of their reserves and continue to explore new ones. This protest comes after it was revealed that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s richest sovereign wealth fund worth £556bn, removed 32 coal mining companies from its portfolio in 2014, citing the risk they face from regulatory action on climate change.

Rev. Rupert Martin of Sandal Magna parish, said, ‘We need to be leaders in our response to the threat of climate change and the impacts it will have on the poorest and most vulnerable across the world.

‘The Church must stop investing in fossil fuel companies immediately as part of its ethical investments policy’.

These actions follow the Divestment Party outside St Paul’s Cathedral and Fossil Free Nativity performed outside Methodist Central Hall at the end of last year. We are excited to see Christians leading creative actions for disinvestment and hope UK Churches will respond to the increasing call from the Christian community to move their money away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy alternatives.

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