Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Dozens of Faith Institutions Announce Divestment From Fossil Fuels

Climate
Dozens of Faith Institutions Announce Divestment From Fossil Fuels
47 faith institutions from 21 countries have announced they would divest from fossil fuels. acilo / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Climate action campaigners applauded Monday after 47 faith institutions from 21 countries announced they would divest from fossil fuels, marking the largest-ever joint divestment by religious leaders in history.


Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, gave credit to campaigners in the fossil fuel divestment movement, who in recent years have pressured banks, universities, and other entities to cut financial ties with the fossil fuel sector in an effort to help mitigate the planetary emergency.

 

"While government leaders cling to the economic models of yesterday, faith leaders are looking ahead to the energy future we share," said 350.org, noting that the G20 summit is set to begin this coming weekend under Saudi Arabia's leadership, two months after G20 energy ministers released a statement rubber-stamping fossil fuel bailouts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"With renewables now growing at a faster pace than fossil fuels," the group noted, "institutional investors are increasingly moving toward sustainable investments in the clean energy economy. Faith investors help lead this movement, constituting the single-largest source of divestment in the world, making up one-third of all commitments. To date, nearly 400 religious institutions have committed to divest."

The institutions which announced their divestment include the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union, Irish religious order the Sisters of Our Lady Apostles, the American Jewish World Service, and the Claretian Missionaries in Sri Lanka. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations joined the coalition.

 

"Today's announcement demonstrates that people of many faith traditions are committed to a better future in clean energy," 350.org said in a statement, noting that under Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has gone to new lengths to end its own participation in the polluting of the Earth.

The Pope is convening an "Economy of Francesco" conference beginning on Thursday, at which leaders and young climate action campaigners will discuss ways for the Church to help develop a sustainable world economy.

"The economic power of faiths, turned to responsible investments and the green economy, can be a major driver of positive change, and an inspiration to others, as we rebuild better," said Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program and under secretary-general of the United Nations.

The American Jewish World Service said it had decided to divest from fossil fuels earlier this year.

The decision allows the organization, CEO Robert Bank said, to "align fully how we invest our funds with our global grantmaking to combat climate change and secure climate justice for the most vulnerable people in the world, ensuring that we live our Jewish values and take up our enduring commitment to repair our broken world."

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

Matthew Micah Wright / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Deborah Moore, Michael Simon and Darryl Knudsen

There's some good news amidst the grim global pandemic: At long last, the world's largest dam removal is finally happening.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scrap metal is loaded into a shredder at a metal recycling facility on July 17, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Hunger strikers in Chicago are fighting the relocation of a metal shredding facility from a white North Side neighborhood to a predominantly Black and Latinx community on the Southeast Side already plagued by numerous polluting industries.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A new UK study links eating meat with increased risks for heart disease, diabetes and more. nata_zhekova / Getty Images

The World Health Organization has determined that red meat probably causes colorectal cancer in humans and that processed meat is carcinogenic to humans. But are there other health risks of meat consumption?

Read More Show Less
A common cuttlefish like this can pass the "marshmallow test." Hans Hillewaert / CC BY-SA 4.0

Cuttlefish, marine invertebrates related to squids and octopuses, can pass the so-called "marshmallow test," an experiment designed to test whether human children have the self-control to wait for a better reward.

Read More Show Less
Yogyakarta Bird Market, Central Java, Indonesia. Jorge Franganillo / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

The straw-headed bulbul doesn't look like much.

It's less than a foot in length, with subdued brown-and-gold plumage, a black beak and beady red eyes. If you saw one sitting on a branch in front of you, you might not give it a second glance.

Read More Show Less