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New Wine Ireland Seminar Presentation - It's time to Care for God's Creation

New Wine Ireland is a Christian conference that takes place in Sligo each year. It aims to help local churches change nations.

I spoke at a seminar this year along with David Ritchie, the Chief Executive of the Church of Ireland's Representative Church Body. The seminar was on how local churches can help care for God's creation. The audio of the seminar is available from New Wine Ireland but I have put the text of my talk and a video of the slides below. The Church of Ireland also released a press article giving a summary of the seminar.


It's time to Care for Creation
Introduction Today David and I are going to give you two short and complementary perspectives on God’s creation and the actions we can take in response to environmental issues. Then we’ll take questions and hear what you have to say.

I’m going to cover three points:
A call to careA call to act, and Time to Take action So first,

[Slide 1] A call to care Conferences like New Wine are great at stirring us up an…

Church of England to divest from fossil fuel companies not in line with Paris Agreement

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The Church of England got its act together at General Synod and voted to divest from oil and gas companies that do not align to the Paris Agreement goals. This is a significant step forward and a great success for the Operation Noah Bright Now campaign.

Some great coverage from the press, including this article from Bloomberg,

And an excellent comment piece in the Telegraph from Rowan Williams.

The Church of England urged to vote for divestment.

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On Sunday 8 July 2018 the Church of England General Synod will vote on whether to divest from oil and gas companies not unequivocally aligned to the Paris Agreement goals of keeping global warming below 2C. This would be a historic vote and would echo the Church of Ireland commitment at its 2018 General Synod to divest from all fossil fuel producers by 2022.

The Church of England is a powerful voice in institutional investments. It has led strongly in collaborative engagement in recent years. A successful amendment vote on Sunday at General Synod would send one of the strongest signals to fossil fuel companies that the time for serious action has arrived.

Oil majors have been tripping over themselves with green announcements recently. Shell, ENI and Equinor have promised to reduce production emissions and to transform themselves into ‘energy companies’ rather than oil and gas companies. These announcements are welcome, but the Paris Agreement goals require a rapid reduction fossil fu…

BrightNow blog - The Church of Ireland votes to divest from fossil fuels

This blog post was written for www.brightnow.co.uk

Blog 21 MAY 2018 The Church of Ireland votes to divest from fossil fuels The Church of Ireland’s General Synod voted last week in favour of full divestment from fossil fuels. Campaigner Stephen Trew explains how it happened. At the Church of Ireland General Synod 2018, I proposed a motion to exclude investments in all companies where more than 10% of turnover is from the production of fossil fuels. It was a long shot, for I am just a regular parishioner, not a member of the Standing Committee or the Representative Church Body (RCB). If it was successful, the RCB would have to divest millions of euro from fossil fuel producing companies over the next four years. The motion passed. The successful vote was by an overwhelming majority: about 80% supported it. Synod members were presented with the strong ethical case of withdrawing investments from an industry that causes human suffering and that poses an increasing risk to pension and inv…

The Christian Times - Church of Ireland votes to divest from fossil fuel companies by 2022

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This article was published by the Christian Times 14 May 2018
Church of Ireland votes to divest from fossil fuel companies by 2022Jardine Malado14 MAY, 2018

ClimateAction - Church of Ireland approves motion to divest from fossil fuels

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This article was published by the Climate Action Programme on 14 May 2018 Church of Ireland approves motion to divest from fossil fuelsThe Anglican Church in Ireland has voted to put an end to its major investments in fossil fuel companies. The decision came at the church’s annual General Synod meeting last week, after a motion was put forward by a private member. The move means the Church of Ireland is now committed to removing investments from all companies which derive more than 10 percent of their income from fossil fuels. The motion has a target date of 2022, slightly amended from 2020 by other members. At the same time, the church intends to continue supporting renewable energy investments and new environmental projects. Its exposure to fossil fuel companies has already declined from 11 percent to 2.5 percent in the past seven years. Stephen Trew, who put forward the proposal, highlighted the moral urgency to address the increasing impacts of climate change in Ireland, and arou…

Irish Times - Church of Ireland to end investments in fossil fuel companies

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This is the article in today's Irish Times Church of Ireland to end investments in fossil fuel companies ‘Divestment from all fossil fuels is the right thing to do’Patsy McGarry
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The Church of Ireland divests!

The @churchofireland General Synod has voted to divest from ALL fossil fuels.https://t.co/q0chyMMTXH#divest#fossilfuels#keepitinthegroundpic.twitter.com/usndD2s1ez — Stephen Trew (@stephentrew) May 11, 2018

Synod speech on Fossil Fuel Divestment 2018

Your Grace, members of Synod.
The motion before us today is about the ethics of investments. Investments that provide funds for the work and mission of the church – from pensions to priorities and the episcopate.

In the Bible, mission is often described as a journey. And as we move forward in mission, the impact of climate change – its effects on people and our response – will deeply affect our mission. So, let us pause and survey the landscape of the last year. How has the RCB responded to the environmental challenge and what is happening in the world?

In the last 12 months the RCB has responded very positively. It has started a number of environmental projects and has managed investments wisely. This is good news and the RCB team need to be applauded for this. But around the world in the last year the impact of climate change on people is very real, I see Maria from Kiribati Island in the Pacific, whose crops are ruined by salt water intrusion from the rising sea.I see farmers in I…