No new fossil fuels: Join the next global divestment announcement


Together with our friends at the Laudato Si’ Movement, World Council of Churches, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith, Operation Noah is delighted to launch the next global divestment announcement for faith organisations, which will take place on Tuesday 5 July 2022.

Energy security must be fossil free

Recent months have highlighted the urgent need for energy that is clean, just and affordable. The fossil fuel economy has destabilised many regions and resulted in human rights violations as well as environmental damage.

Oil and gas is continuing to fuel conflict, including the current escalation of the Russian regime’s aggression in Ukraine. Although the Church of England has urged TotalEnergies to cut its ties with Russian oil and gas, Total has refused to do so. Meanwhile, Shell has continued to buy Russian oil, even as the violence in Ukraine increases. This prioritisation of profits ahead of human life further brings into question Church investment in oil and gas companies.

Oil and gas companies continue to expand fossil fuel production

Divestment from Russian oil and gas is a step in the right direction. However, the International Energy Agency and the UN Secretary General have gone further and unequivocally declared that new oil and gas projects are not the solution to these crises.

The new IPCC report underlines the urgent need for a fair and fast transition from fossil fuels and towards clean alternatives. The IPCC summary of the report published this month states: ‘Limiting warming requires shifting energy investments away from fossil fuels and towards low carbon technologies.’

New research published in recent weeks showed that just 20 oil and gas companies – including Exxon, Shell, Total and BP – are planning to spend $932 billion on new oil and gas projects up to 2030. According to the analysis from Global Witness and Oil Change International, Shell plans to spend $46 billion on new projects in this decade.

Shell is forecast to spend more than any other operator in the North Sea on exploration and development of new oil and gas fields in the next couple of years, including the controversial Jackdaw gas field. Last week, BP announced plans to go ahead with the Murlach field in the North Sea.

Yet it was reported that Exxon plans to increase capital spending on oil and gas drilling up to 45% in 2022 to $24 billion, higher than pre-pandemic levels. The oil major announced a $10 billion oil investment in Guyana on the same day the IPCC signalled that the fossil fuel era must come to an end.

Christians around the world call for end to fossil fuel expansion

The global divestment announcement, which takes place ahead of the Lambeth Conference and the Church of England General Synod in July, offers an opportunity for UK Churches to listen to the calls of our global neighbours and respond to the climate emergency by divesting from all fossil fuel companies.

In September 2021, over 20 Anglican bishops from across Africa called for an immediate halt to all new oil and gas exploration in Africa. The bishops denounced the ‘new era of economic colonialism by oil and gas companies’ which will have ‘dire consequences for all life on this planet.’ More than 400 people have died in the recent floods in South Africa.

French oil company TotalEnergies recently announced plans to go ahead with the controversial East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline and recommence oil and gas drilling in Mozambique, where Bishop Manuel Ernesto has highlighted the devastating human rights impacts of the fossil fuel industry.

Ahead of the Government’s Spring Statement and energy security strategy, more than 500 UK Church leaders have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling on them to tackle the climate emergency, address the cost of living crisis and stop all new fossil fuel developments, as the International Energy Agency says we must do in order to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

In February, 136 CofE bishops and clergy signed a letter urging the Church Commissioners to divest from Exxon, adding their support to an open letter from the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN).

Join the Global Divestment Announcement: 5 July 2022 

If you would be interested in getting your local church, regional Church structures (dioceses and equivalents) or religious order to make a divestment commitment, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Any groups interested in joining the announcement will confirm (i) that they have divested from fossil fuel investments; or (ii) that they will divest from any investments in fossil fuels as soon as possible, and within five years at the latest; or (iii) that they do not hold any fossil fuel investments and will not invest in fossil fuels in the future.

Please get in touch with Bokani Tshidzu on bokani.tshidzu@operationnoah.org before 28 June 2022 for further information or to register your interest.

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