Showing posts from 2018

The Church of England urged to vote for divestment.

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

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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

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

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

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. — 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..

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

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

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

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…