31

Jan

2023

Join our 40 Days, 40 Dioceses campaign and the next Global Divestment Announcement

 

At the start of 2023, 40 dioceses across England and Wales (27 in the CofE and 13 in the Catholic Church) had yet to make a commitment to divest from fossil fuels. Making a divestment commitment involves committing to sell any investments in fossil fuel companies and not to invest in these companies in the future. This Lent, we will highlight a particular diocese on each of the 40 days and encourage Christians to take action, calling on Church leaders and investors to make changes.

2023 is a crucial year for moving away from fossil fuel investments and investing in climate solutions. The International Energy Agency has declared that there can be no new fossil fuel developments if we are to keep the hope of limiting global heating to 1.5C alive. The Church of England is also fast approaching its own 2023 deadline of divesting from companies which are not Paris compliant, so this is a vital time for churches and dioceses to take action.

Together with our friends at Laudato Si’ Movement, World Council of Churches, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith, Operation Noah is delighted to launch the next global divestment announcement for faith institutions.

Our next Global Divestment Announcement on 20 April 2023 will coincide with Earth Day. This Earth Day is the 50th anniversary of the event and its theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet’. This theme strengthens calls to move away from fossil fuel companies and redirect resources towards climate solutions. 

Fossil fuels continue to fuel conflict

The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine has continued over the last year.  Although the Church of England’s National Investing Bodies pledged to reconsider their shareholding in TotalEnergies if it failed to cut ties with Russian suppliers, they have continued to invest in Total. As Bishop Manuel Ernesto in the Diocese of Nampula in Northern Mozambique has highlighted, the fossil fuel industry has destabilised many regions, resulting in human rights violations as well as environmental degradation.

Most Church denominations in the UK – including the Church in Wales, Methodist Church in Britain, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and the Baptist Union – have fully divested from fossil fuel companies. An increasing number of dioceses and local churches are divesting from fossil fuel companies. In the last two years, the number of CofE dioceses to divest has increased to 16 from a starting point of zero. 

Join our campaign this Lent: 40 Days, 40 Dioceses

Each day during Lent we would like to share messages from Christians on why their dioceses should divest. This could be a video message or a photo and quote. We will also share prayers on social media, and invite you to pray with us for positive movement in each of the 40 dioceses throughout Lent. In April there will be the opportunity for dioceses and local churches to join the next Global Divestment Announcement, which we hope will be the biggest yet.

Please let us know whether you would be willing to record a video or submit a photo with a quote asking your local diocese leaders to take action on divestment from fossil fuels during Lent. You can do so by completing this short form

Join the Global Divestment Announcement: 20 April 2023

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.

This involves making a commitment to divest (disinvest) any investments in fossil fuel companies within a five year timeframe and a pledge not to invest in fossil fuels in the future. Even if your church or faith institution doesn’t currently hold any fossil fuel investments (for instance if it only has a bank account), it can make a powerful statement by pledging not to invest in fossil fuels in the future.

Please get in touch with Bokani Tshidzu on bokani.tshidzu@operationnoah.org before 12 April 2023 for further information or to register your interest.

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