QUB divestment adds pressure on Churches to do the same

The news that Queen’s University Belfast will divest from fossil fuels is really welcome. It follows a student protest in 2015 that highlighted the issue. The university has a carbon management plan that has been updated to include a policy on investments that aims to divest from fossil fuels by 2025.

Queen’s is following a number of universities in Ireland that have already divested. Maynooth led the way followed by Trinity College and the National University of Ireland Galway. Other notable institutions in Ireland to divest are the Mary Robinson foundation and the Irish Parliament.

With universities north and south setting the pace the pressure is now increasing on churches in Ireland to follow. The Church of Ireland at the 2017 General Synod in Limerick passed motion 11 to exclude the most polluting fossil fuels and reducing the carbon-footprint of its investment portfolio, but this positive step is already being eclipsed by institutions that fully divest.

Irish churches need to increased ambition to speak out and act for climate justice.


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