Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Quakers Divest From Fossil Fuels

Climate

The Eco-Justice Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has announced that more than $2 million of assets have been divested from fossil fuels and reinvested in a new Quaker Green Fund offered by Friends Fiduciary Corporation.

Image courtesy of 350.org

By doing so, Philadelphia area Religious Society of Friends join a growing number of religious communities, colleges, towns and states across the country and world, which are pressuring government and industry to act now to slow climate change. Meetings that have already shifted funds include Central Philadelphia, Lansdowne, Westtown, Lehigh Valley, Old Haverford and Newtown Monthly Meetings. The question of investing with integrity is actively underway at many others. These Quaker Meetings are urging Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the largest body of the Religious Society of Friends in the U.S., to divest as well.

“We understand that addressing the climate crisis is a moral imperative,” said Bruce Harrison of Westtown Monthly Meeting. “The divestment movement draws attention to the seriousness of climate disruption and the need to combat the powerful coal, oil and gas companies, which persist in resisting efforts to curb polluting carbon and methane emissions.”  

The movement is based on recent climate and financial analyses by the Carbon Tracker Initiative which makes it clear that 80 percent of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must not be burned if we are to maintain a hospitable climate.

“By divesting and reinvesting, we communicate the urgency of our concern for protecting a stable climate future for the commonwealth of life,” said Paula Kline, member of the Eco-Justice Working Group. “We want to invite meaningful conversation about the transition to clean energy.” 

The decision is consistent with Religious Society of Friends’ values. They have a long history of concern for ethical investing and exclude other industries such as tobacco, gambling and arms manufacture because of the harm they do. Quakers understand that money is always an instrument of moral choice. The difficult times for the future of the Earth—and more particularly its poorest citizens—merit dramatic, but responsible, actions like this.

Friends Fiduciary Corporation excluded coal and coal based utilities from their portfolio in 2013. Stanford University has just followed suit. “We have a carbon budget, with very real limits which must be respected, if we want to survive,” Kline said. “We also know about financial bubbles, and the carbon bubble is a concern to any financial manager.” 

The Eco-Justice Working Group acts on the Quaker commitment to stewardship including the Friendly Households program, which supports reducing our carbon footprint and promoting renewable energy options. The consequences of unchecked climate change can be described as a theft from our children, be we are all at risk. Climate instability threatens every society on Earth and the natural systems on which they depend.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less
Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less
A mostly empty 110 freeway toward downtown Los Angeles, California on April 28, 2020. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The shelter in place orders that brought clean skies to some of the world's most polluted cities and saw greenhouse gas emissions plummet were just a temporary relief that provided an illusory benefit to the long-term consequences of the climate crisis. According to new research, the COVID-19 lockdowns will have a "neglible" impact on global warming, as Newshub in New Zealand reported.

Read More Show Less
Centrosaurus apertus was a plant-eating, single-horned dinosaur that lived 76 to 77 million years ago. Sergey Krasovskiy / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

Scientists have discovered and diagnosed the first instance of malignant cancer in a dinosaur, and they did so by using modern medical techniques. They published their results earlier this week in The Lancet Oncology.

Read More Show Less
Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. NPS

By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The ubiquity of guns and bullets poses environmental risks. Contaminants in bullets include lead, copper, zinc, antimony and mercury. gorancakmazovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she will attempt to dismantle the National Rifle Association (NRA), arguing that years of corruption and mismanagement warrant the dissolution of the activist organization, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less