Catholic institutions divest from fossil fuels


Today – the last day of this year’s Season of Creation and the feast of St Francis – a group of 40 Catholic institutions have announced their divestment from fossil fuels.

Co-ordinated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement, this is the largest joint Catholic divestment announcement to date.

The divestment commitments come from organisations around the world, including a Catholic bishops’ conference and a Catholic bank  as well as religious orders and lay organisations.

In the UK, commitments came from Catholic Action for Animals and from Newman University in Birmingham. University Vice-Chancellor, Prof J Scott Davidson, commented: “We have committed to fossil fuel divestment as we want to give our students, staff and the local community the best possible future as well as take responsibility within the wider world.”

Tomás Insua, the Executive Director of Global Catholic Climate Movement, said: “The moral clarity of these 40 divesting institutions is cause for celebration. Their leadership blazes a path that the World Bank and its fellow financial bodies should follow. As the World Bank meets in Washington, D.C., we hope its leaders notice that the movement for a fossil-free world has grown vastly stronger.”

This is a major step forward, as well as a great witness for the moral leadership of the Church. We hope this will inspire other Churches and faith organisations to commit to divest. Operation Noah’s focus is specifically on Churches and the Christian community in the UK, and we are working with Catholic institutions here to encourage more divestment commitments in the months and years ahead.

Meanwhile, there are actions we can all take now.

  • Divest your own church (or religious community) – see our ‘how to’ guide explaining how local churches can divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean alternatives.
  • Join Christian Aid’s Big Shift Global campaign, calling on the World Bank to phase out all investment in fossil fuels and increase its focus on renewable energy.
  • Support the Fossil Free campaign Divest the Vatican.
Inforgraphic with stats about the organisations that have divested.
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