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Showing posts from May, 2016

Letter to Church of Ireland Gazette, 2 June 2016

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I wish to express my thanks to the Gazette for the excellent coverage of the General Synod in Dún Laoghaire (20th May issue). Well done to all concerned.

Recently, after our evening Café Church, I was talking to some young people about General Synod. They wanted to know if the hierarchy of the Church of Ireland actually listen to ordinary people.

I was able to share my experience from the last two years. I assured them that the Executive of the Representative Church Body (RCB) actually do listen during debate and can respond when a strong moral argument is presented.

The moral argument to divest from fossil fuel companies was presented at last year's General Synod. Afterwards, two dioceses passed motions calling on the RCB to divest from all fossil fuels within five years. The debates on the motions stressed the severe impact that greenhouse gas pollution and climate change are having on the world's poor.

The RCB listened and responded. They divested from coal, increased inve…

RCB responds to call for divestment from fossil fuels

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The following article appeared in the Church of Ireland Gazette, 6th May 2016

From Fossils to Forestry: RCB invests in the future By Sarah Dunne

Climate change is an extremely important, complex and topical issue. As the world faces the prospect of population growth to nine billion people by 2050, key issues of sustainability and environmental conservation are being proactively considered by the Representative Church Body (RCB) with respect to the investments it holds on behalf of the Church of Ireland.

A particular focus has been given in the past year to developing and implementing a policy in relation to climate change.

The Paris summit (COP21) has generated increased momentum around the need to act on climate change and to ensure that global warming does not exceed 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an additional aim to cap this at 1.5°C.

The Church of Ireland investment strategy is committed to the support of a transition to a lowcarbon economy through a comprehensive approach,…

The Church of Ireland: It's Mission and Prophetic action

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I love the Church of Ireland.  It is my spiritual home. The Lord Jesus found me when I was a spiritually wandering teenager, saved me and brought me into a loving church. I was married and had my children baptised there.  The Rev Adrian McCartney taught us about the Holy Spirit and our faith began to burn. Events like Summer Madness and New Wine added spiritual fuel and we were set on fire. I had a burning desire to reach the lost and point them towards the Saviour – Jesus Christ. The Anglican Church stretches far and wide. I've seen vibrant village churches in remote parts of Paraguay and Argentina. On this island, Church of Ireland parishes are woven like a tapestry across the land and into the fabric of society. Our mission to people is to explain the gospel, make disciples, and to help those in need. Our mission to society is to further the Kingdom of God. Each parish and each person has a responsibility to act on mission. To do the stuff. To go to where people are, offer help, …

Speech to Synod 2016

I would like to speak about the RCB policy on climate change on page 102 of the Book of Reports. I believe the RCB needs to go back to the drawing board and re-write this policy with the aim of full divestment from fossil fuels by 2020.

There are four reasons why this needs rewritten.

1. The policy is indistinctLast December when 195 Countries agreed in Paris to act on climate change, the RCB wrote this policy which begins,
"Climate Change and the impact of fossil fuels on the environment are extremely complex."
This is a policy that sits on the fence. (Policy)

2.  The policy is in errorIn the second paragraph it states that fossil fuels will, “for the foreseeable future, remain one of the most cost efficient methods of energy production"

This is incorrect.
Bloomberg reported recently that the cost of wind energy is now cheaper than energy from new coal or gas power stations. The cost of solar power fell by 50% in just 5 years.

We need an investment policy based on reality, no…

The Church of Ireland Policy on Climate Change

The Representative Church Body – Report 2016
APPENDIX E
RCB POLICY ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate Change and the impact of fossil fuels on the environment are extremely complex; as responsible investors the RCB is committed to take account of them in the management of its investment portfolios. The Investment Committee has reviewed its investments in this sector at an individual stock level and in terms of overall exposure as well as its investments and commitments to renewable and/or sustainable energy.

The RCB is supportive of public policy to support a diverse energy mix and a transition to a low carbon economy, however, the fact is that fossil fuels will continue to contribute a major component of this energy mix for the foreseeable future and remain one of the most cost efficient methods of energy production. As Christians and responsible investors, the RCB seeks to mitigate and lower the Climate Change impact within our portfolios. The Investment Committee has reviewed the current h…