Fossil free Churches: Accelerating the transition to a brighter, cleaner future


Our new Bright Now report looks at the role of the Churches in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The report, Fossil free Churches: Accelerating the transition to a brighter, cleaner future, argues that the speed of transition needs to accelerate rapidly in order to keep temperature rises in line with the Paris Agreement. To accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon economy, Churches (and other investors) need to rapidly shift their investments from fossil fuel companies and reinvest in clean alternatives.

The report covers:

  • The moral and theological argument for taking action on climate change and investing ethically.
  • An overview of the progress that different Church denominations have made in divesting from fossil fuels.
  • Climate science and the urgent need for action to ensure that the Paris Agreement targets are met.
  • The risks to investors and fossil fuel companies if they fail to take climate change seriously, particularly the risk of stranded assets: the vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves will need to remain in the ground if the Paris Agreement targets are to be met.
  • A review of fossil fuel divestment and shareholder engagement to date, including the Church of England’s Transition Pathway Initiative. The report argues that the International Energy Agency (IEA) scenarios used by the Transition Pathway Initiative are insufficient to demonstrate alignment with the Paris Agreement targets of keeping global average temperature rises ‘well below 2°C’ and aiming to limit them to 1.5°C.
  • Developments in renewable energy and clean technologies, demonstrating the opportunities for reinvestment.

Support for the transition report

Front cover of the Fossil Free Churches report.

‘This careful and informative Bright Now report gives clear pointers to ways ahead for all concerned about where the church invests its money. I have admired the determination of church investors to bring shareholder pressure to bear on major oil companies. However, the sluggish response and the increasing urgency of the need to respond to climate change indicate that now is the time for the churches to divest from oil and gas, and reinvest in clean energy.’

Rt Revd Dr David Atkinson, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark

‘With both a scientific assessment of climate change and an overview of financial policies amongst the Churches, this report challenges and encourages the divestment from fossil fuels and investment in renewable sources of energy. I commend it to all Churches as part of our exploration of care for creation as an important aspect of our Christian discipleship.’

Revd Dr John Weaver, Chair of the John Ray Initiative and former Baptist Union President

‘This report will help Churches to take the lead in the transition to a net zero carbon economy. It argues that shifting investments from fossil fuels to clean alternatives is a powerful step to show love for the most vulnerable as well as proper respect for, and wise stewardship of, God’s creation.’

Revd Dr David Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland

Read the report

Copies of the report are available to download from the link below. If you would like a paper copy, please email admin@operationnoah.org.

The report is free but we would welcome a donation to support our ongoing work.

Bookmark and Share