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Showing posts from 2017

The RCB invests in ExxonMobil, a company that ‘promoted doubt’ about climate change.

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A group of Anglican Bishops and clergy recently called upon the Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board to "show moral leadership" by divesting from fossil fuels, and divest from ExxonMobil in particular. See my earlier blog post.

In a letter to the Guardian newspaper the group cite a recent journal paper analysing ExxonMobil’s activities from 1977-2014 that concludes: ‘ExxonMobil contributed to advancing climate science – by way of its scientists’ academic publications – but promoted doubt about it in advertorials.’

The Anglican group's letter concludes, "Now is the time for decisive action. We call on Church of England investors to take the lead and immediately divest from ExxonMobil."

The Church of Ireland in recent years has changed its fossil fuel investment strategy by aligning it to the policy to the Church of England. At General Synod 2017 a motion was passed that committed the RCB to: excluded investments in coal and tar sands, r…

Justin Welby on climate change

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As people of faith, we don’t just state our beliefs — we live them out. One belief is that we find purpose and joy in loving our neighbors. Another is that we are charged by our creator with taking good care of his creation.Justin Welby, 
from an opinion piece in the New York Times, 4 Nov 2017.

Anglican bishops and clergy speak out about divestment.

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A letter in today’s Guardian calls on the Church of England to divest from ExxonMobil because of its deception about climate science and the increasing risk posed by climate change. The letter, which is signed by 4 bishops and numerous clergy, concludes,
"Time is running out to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. While some governments and companies pursue policies that are leading us in the wrong direction, the Church of England is uniquely placed to show moral leadership through its investment policies.  Now is the time for decisive action. We call on Church of England investors to take the lead and immediately divest from ExxonMobil." It is good to see a voice from the Church of England calling for increased urgency with divestment.

The Church of Ireland has taken steps in recent years to reduce its investment in fossil fuels. Since 2015 the Representative Church Body has excluded investments in coal and tar sands and reduced investments in oil and gas companie…

RCB Rises to the challenge of climate change

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The article 'RCB rises to the challenge of climate change', published in the Church of Ireland Gazette on 6th October 2017, is one I was very happy to read. After all, this blog is about trying to get the Church of Ireland to respond to that very challenge. You could say I was astonished.
It is fair to say that the Church of Ireland has moved significantly since 2015. Back then, four of the top ten investments were in fossil fuel companies. I Pointed out this inconvenient truth at synod in 2015, and there has been real change. Today none of the top 10 investments are in fossil fuels and the overall percentage has dropped from 10% to 3%. Progress, but it needs to get to zero.
The article mentions the motion on climate change that passed at General Synod 2017. It is worth a reminder of what this called for. Put simply the RCB will exclude coal and tar sands investments and continue to reduce exposure to oil and gas companies by investing in green alternatives. Companies that are…

Northern Ireland must lead the way towards clean energy growth and leave fossil fuels to the past

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A letter to the press THE publication of the Government's Clean Growth Strategy is good news for Northern Ireland. The focus on home energy efficiency, clean power, electric cars and planting new woodlands will mean jobs, lower bills and cleaner air.

Offshore wind power provides an enormous opportunity for Northern Ireland. Harland & Wolff are now experts in the construction of giant offshore wind turbines. The white towers rising from the shipyard point towards a green-powered future.
Recent energy auctions for offshore wind power have set "astounding" prices well below those of nuclear power and even gas.

Giant battery technology that can store energy from renewables is also getting cheaper very quickly. AES Energy Storage installed the UK's largest battery at Kilroot power station in 2016.

The Department for the Economy's Wind Map for Northern Ireland web page says: "Northern Ireland is regarded as having one of the greatest wind energy resources in …

Anglican Primates discuss climate change

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Primates of the Anglican Church discussed the impacts and response to climate change at their recent Primates’ Meeting. Archbishops shared about the devastating impacts of hurricanes in the Caribbean, floods in Asia and Pacific islands disappearing under rising sea levels.

Here are some interesting quotes from the Archbishops.

The Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba said, we need to  “make the linkage between social justice and climate justice.”  And “What I hope will come from this meeting is a commitment by each primate to pray for social justice issues but to look at those with the eyes of saying the climate, the environment, the earth where they are happening, ought to be cared for,”

Archbishop George Takeli, the Primate of Melanesia, said, “Our stories are making the world become a very small world - that we are part of each other." "..what I begin to sense from the Primates’ Meeting is that all of us are moving towards creating a strong network to work together…

Time to 'Get Serious'

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The General Synod of the Anglican church in Australia has called on its government to ‘get serious’ about climate change. The proposer of the motion, the Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St John’s Cathedral Brisbane, said the federal government should deepen its commitment to the Paris Agreement of 2015. The motion called for the following actions:
For the Federal Government to act with a deepened sense of urgency to develop policies and practices that would allow Australia to achieve the reductions in carbon pollution it committed to at the Paris Climate talks in 2015.For the Church to get its own house in order by actively seeking to reduce its carbon footprint and the footprint generated by its investment portfolios. For the Church to more fully take its place in the public square and to be a more active participant in the Climate Change debate. And for the church to bring to bear the rich resources it possesses such as its theology of the environment in the Climate Change d…

Church and tree-huggers, unite!

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I would like to draw your attention to a great article, 'Church and tree-huggers, unite!' in this week’s The Church Times, by Joe Ware of Christian Aid.

Joe explains that there have been harmful relations between environmentalists and the church in the past,
‘The perceived divide between a gang of godless tree-huggers, on the one side, and an institution that cares only about saving souls at the expense of ecological destruction, on the other, caused a damaging impasse in which both creation care and evangelism suffer.’  Thankfully this frostiness between church and the environment is now thawing,
‘Like the arrival of Aslan in Narnia’s perpetual winter … spring is coming.’  The result is huge potential for the Kingdom of God. Thousands of churches have responded, by reducing fossil fuel usage through greater energy efficiency and switching energy providers, by greening their investments and divesting from fossil fuels, and by teaching about creation care. As the late evangeli…

How do we respond to environmental problems? New Wine 2017

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New Wine Ireland Seminar 2017 Monday 10 July IT Sligo 2:45pm in Seminar 4

Some great books