Operation Noah urges churches 'think global, act local' on divestment

By agency reporter
February 22, 2017

Operation Noah is calling on local churches to commit to divesting from fossil fuels during a week-long Global Divestment Mobilisation in May.

The Christian climate change charity is a faith partner in the initiative which is spearheaded by 350.org, the global divestment movement founded by American environmentalist and campaigner Bill McKibben.  This year’s Global Divestment Mobilisation takes place from 5–13 May and will focus on the impacts of climate change.

While many churches in the UK have committed to divest from coal and tar sands, they continue to invest vast sums of money in the fossil fuel industry. The Church of England invests more than £190 million in Shell and BP alone as well as investing in ExxonMobil, while the Methodist Church has £52 million invested in fossil fuels.

While the national churches lag behind, Operation Noah is asking local churches to take the lead, encouraging them to make a divestment commitment and to write to national church investors urging them to do the same. To make this easier, the charity has produced a ‘how to’ guide, Divest Your Church, explaining the process of divestment and reinvestment for local churches, which will be available on the Bright Now website from early March.

James Buchanan, Operation Noah’s divestment campaign manager, said: "Climate change is threatening the livelihoods of our brothers and sisters around the world. There is a moral urgency for churches to break their ties with the fossil fuel industry driving this crisis. By making a commitment to divest from fossil fuels, local churches can take a lead and show that it is no longer ethical to invest in fossil fuels."

* 350.org  https://350.org/

* Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change. http://operationnoah.org/

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