Church, faith groups divest US$1.4 billion from fossil fuels

Clean energy advocates call for an end to investments in coal during a protest rally in Manila. (Photo by Jire Carreon for LiCAS.news)

Over 40 church and faith-based groups announced this week that they are divesting from oil, gas and coal investments, saying “every dollar invested in fossil fuels is a vote for suffering.”

It was described as the “largest-ever” withdrawal from dirty energy investments by faith communities.

“These institutions are taking prophetic action to light the way towards a more just and sustainable future,” said Tomas Insua, executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

The announcement was made from Rome on May 18, at the beginning of Laudato Si’ Week, the Vatican-sponsored celebration of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology.

A total of 42 faith-based organizations from 14 countries pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies or avoid such investments in the future.

The institutions are a mix of Methodist, Anglican, Quaker, Buddhist, and Catholic, the latter accounting for 24 of the divesting groups.

The groups include eight lay organizations, eight religious orders, and four dioceses: the Diocese of São José dos Campos, Brazil; the Archdiocese of Semarang, Indonesia; the Diocese of Ossory, Ireland; and the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, England.

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