Lutheran World Federation disinvests


GENEVA, 23 June 2015  – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has announced that it shall be the policy of the LWF not to invest in fossil fuels. This action is taken as part of its long-standing commitment to climate justice.

The LWF Council also called on its member churches ‘not to invest in fossil fuels and to support energy efficiency and renewable energy companies, and to encourage their institutions and individual members to do likewise.

‘Through this decision, we seek coherence and wish to send a strong moral signal that the world needs to operate a transformational change towards a low-carbon economy, phasing out fossil fuels and phasing in renewable energies by the middle of this century,’ the LWF Council added.

‘We are encouraged that the Council has made the decision not to invest in fossil fuels and this puts action behind our commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050,’ LWF General Secretary Revd Martin Junge said. ‘It is an important milestone and we trust as a faith-based community we are making our own contribution within our one human family to address the challenge of climate change affecting our one common household.

‘We acknowledge that some of our member churches, as well as the World Council of Churches, have preceded us in the decision of not investing in fossil fuels companies, and that we are joining a broad global movement which is backed by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,’ the LWF Council stated in Geneva.

‘As a Lutheran Communion, we understand climate change as an issue of justice, peace, care for creation and protection for all peoples everywhere. We raise a special concern for the most vulnerable, in particular the poor, the indigenous people, and the voiceless.’

The LWF Council further emphasised that ‘we re-commit ourselves and encourage others to commit to a profound change in our lifestyles and in the broader system of production and consumption. We must live as responsible and accountant citizens of this planet.’

Ellie Roberts, Bright Now campaigner, says, ‘The Federation has acted prophetically in the face of the climate crisis by moving their money away from fossil fuels. Representing 72 million Christians in 98 countries – and coming as Pope Francis calls on the world to unite in tackling climate change – we hope this decision will inspire other churches to divest as a matter of faith.’

Revd Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental group, says, ‘For decades, LWF has empowered the world’s most vulnerable communities to fight poverty and to work for better lives. In recent years, they’ve seen that climate change, and its droughts, heat, and destructive weather cycles, erases the progress made. They’ve decided that it’s not right to profit from the industry that’s behind climate change, and we salute that choice.’

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