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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…

At Synod 2018, the Church of Ireland should vote to fully divest from fossil fuels? Here's why..

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At General Synod 2018 the Church of Ireland will take an important vote on whether to exclude investments from all fossil fuel companies. It is important for two reasons, one financial and the other ethical. But before I turn to answer those questions I’d like to answer a question some might be asking,
Did the Church of Ireland not vote to exclude fossil fuels in 2017? Last year the motion approved by General Synod excluded companies where greater than 10% of turnover comes from the production of coal and tar-sands. The motion did not exclude companies that produce oil and gas. The motion before Synod 2018 seeks to exclude companies where more than 10% of turnover comes from oil and gas.
What are the financial reasons to exclude all fossil fuel producing companies? Fossil fuel companies were for many years a safe bet for investments. The Investment managers in the Church of Ireland have told me that the dividend payments are generally good. But in recent years the problem of climate ch…

Sustainable Synod is happening in 2018

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The Church of Ireland has announced that the General Synod in Armagh in May 2018 will be a 'Sustainable Synod'. The announcement from the RCB in Dublin said that synod will aim to be paperless and, "reduce the environmental footprint of General Synod, encourage recycling, and reduce waste as much as possible." This is very welcome.

I really am pleased to see this. I made the call for a Sustainable Synod back in February with this blog post and in the Church of Ireland Gazette and it is another sign that the RCB listens and is taking action when it comes to the environment.



This is another positive step from the RCB. I hope they'll take more at General Synod itself.

Anglican Leaders in Commonwealth say it's time to turn "Words into action" on climate change

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Anglian archbishops and bishops have joined with 170 faith leaders from across the Commonwealth to call on governments to turn “words into action” on climate change. 
Commonwealth countries have increasingly been affected by the effects of climate change. The chruch leaders write, “Not even the remotest corner of the Commonwealth remains unaffected or unthreatened by the impacts of climate change.”
The leaders said that to keep the global temperature rise below the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees concerted action is needed. In a letter to the Daily Telegraph they wrote,
“Subsistence communities in African countries struggle to grow crops in increasingly arid earth. In the Pacific, rising sea levels threaten the existence of whole countries. In Asia, salination is driving people from their land. Arctic communities’ ways of life are undermined. Ever more violent and unpredictable storms devastate the Caribbean. At the scale of the Commonwealth we can see that the crisis of pover…

Archbishop Jackson hosts Climate Change Awareness Seminar

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The Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Revd Michael Jackson, is hosting a Climate Change Awareness event on 26 April 2018 at Trinity College Dublin.  The list of speakers is impressive and hints that more fossil fuel divestment is on the way.
Three academics are speaking: Prof John Sweeney, Dr Lorna Gold and is Dr Cathriona Russell.

Professor John Sweeny is the keynote speaker addressing The Science of Climate Change. There is no one better in Ireland to explain why Ireland is not immune to the dangers of climate change. He has written extensively, publishing 110 scientific papers on climate change in Ireland contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report. He also regularly writes about the topic in the national press.

Dr. Lorna Gold is Head of Policy and Advocacy in TrĂ³caire. She has led the charity’s campaign for climate justice and is an expert in the fossil fuel divestment. Speaking about solutions she has said, “fossil fuels must be phased out wit…

The Inside story of how the Church of Ireland divested from fossil fuels

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At the 2017 Church of Ireland General Synod a motion was passed to divest from coal and tar-sands. This blog post explains how it happened.
Post-synod pub dinner We met in Bobby Byrne’s Pub for dinner in Limerick after the 2017 Church of Ireland General Synod.  
Motion 11 on climate change and fossil fuel investments had just been passed. It committed the Representative Church Body (RCP) to divest from coal and tar-sands, reduce the carbon footprint of the investment portfolio, support collaborative engagement, and divest from oil and gas companies that are not serious about the change to a low carbon economy.
Over dinner I was asked by some friends, ‘How did you learn about church divestment from fossil fuels?’
Typhoon Haiyan I explained what had impacted me, ‘A few years ago my passion for climate justice was lit after the Super Typhoon Haiyan disaster in the Philippines. This was the strongest storm ever to make landfall and 7000 people were killed, millions were made homeless, and it c…