RCB Rises to the challenge of climate change
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 not serious about the environment will be divested from.
The really good news is that RCB, without being pushed into it, are expanding their efforts and are calling each parish to respond in a serious way to climate change. The Parish Resources website now has an entire section on environmental sustainability to help churches reduce their carbon footprint.
The article also mentions Eco-congregations Ireland, a group that has always had a small but dedicated following. It is good that the RCB is giving this group some exposure and hopefully many more parishes will check out the good work they do.
There is much to do, but it is good to see the positive steps outlined in this article.