Cardiff church becomes the first in Wales to divest from fossil fuels


Beulah United Reformed Church in Cardiff has decided to end its investments in fossil fuels – becoming the first local church in Wales to divest.

The church made the decision for ethical reasons, since fossil fuel companies are major contributors to climate change, which has a disproportionate impact on the world’s poorest communities. They emphasised the urgent need for a decisive response to the climate emergency declared by the Welsh Government earlier this year.

Beulah URC had been considering the process of divestment for several months, with support from Operation Noah. They also took inspiration from the decision of the United Reformed Church to divest from fossil fuels in May.

Members of Beulah URC celebrate their decision to divest from fossil fuels

Beulah URC hopes their decision will encourage other churches to divest

As well as making a divestment commitment, Beulah URC has passed a resolution calling on the URC Synod of Wales to end its investments in fossil fuels. The URC Synod of Scotland divested from fossil fuels in 2015. The URC Synod of Yorkshire and several local churches across the UK have joined them since then.

The majority of fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground, unburned, to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. In spite of this, fossil fuel extraction companies are continuing to explore for more reserves and obstructing action on climate change.

Beulah URC hopes that churches of all denominations across Wales will join them in divesting from fossil fuels. In doing so, they will inspire others across the wider divestment movement and catalyse a shift towards investment in the clean technologies of the future.

Divestment – a step towards climate justice

Dr Andrew Glanfield, Chair of Elders and Church Meeting in Beulah, said: ‘God calls us all to look after the Earth and its natural wonders. Moving from fossil fuels to renewable technologies is of utmost importance for our planet, for climate justice and for our future generations.’

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager for Operation Noah, said: ‘We are delighted that Beulah URC has decided to divest from fossil fuels, and we hope many other churches across Wales will join them. It is time for all investors concerned about climate change to withdraw investments from the companies fuelling the crisis and increase investments in the clean technologies of the future.’

In 2015 Beulah URC received an Eco Congregation award. They switched to a renewable energy supplier and installed solar panels on church buildings. The church has also supported Christian Aid’s Big Shift campaign, calling on four major banks to stop funding coal projects. Church members believe that divestment is an important step they can take in responding to the climate emergency and achieving climate justice for the world’s poorest communities.

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