31

Mar

2015

Anglican bishops urge churches to disinvest from fossil fuels

 

A group of 17 bishops and archbishops have issued an urgent call to action for climate justice after meeting in South Africa in February this year. The declaration urges churches to disinvest from fossil fuel companies and to strengthen their ethical investment policies, calling for ‘a review of our churches’ investment practices with a view to supporting environmental sustainability and justice by divesting from institutions involved primarily in the extraction or distribution of fossil fuels.’

Entitled The World is our Host, the declaration highlights the urgency of the ‘unprecedented’ climate crisis and calls on the Anglican community to take prophetic action, including educating its members on climate change.

The initiative has been led by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, and its attenders include the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury and the Church of England’s lead bishop for Environmental Affairs.

Bright Now warmly welcomes this declaration as a major step forward in the Church’s response to the crisis of climate change. This initiative – coming from leaders of the Anglican Church – shows that the call for Churches and faith communities to disinvest from fossil fuel companies is growing stronger. Churches around the world have already met to debate this issue, with many choosing to move their funds away from fossil fuels. Churches and faith communities that have committed to disinvest include the World Council of Churches, the Church of Sweden, the Quakers in Britain and Anglican dioceses in Australia and New Zealand.

We believe that it makes no sense for the Church to seek a way to prevent catastrophic climate change while also financing and profiting from the fossil fuel industry. This summer the Church of England and Methodist Church will have an historic opportunity to vote in support of disinvestment by backing resolutions from local dioceses and circuits. This would send a strong signal to the fossil fuel industry that it needs to rapidly change its business strategy, which currently sets us on course for a global temperature rise far exceeding the 2?C limit agreed by world governments.

We hope that the Churches will respond with the urgency required by committing to move their money away from the companies fuelling climate change and instead use their funds to support the clean energies we need to build a sustainable future.

Notes

Photo Credit: arbyreed

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