CAMPAIGNERS are urging Churches and faith groups to increase investment in climate solutions through a new global initiative, the Green Investment Declaration, which launched this week.

Supported by UK charities Operation Noah and JustMoney Movement, the declaration aims to get signatories on the road to green investment, with the goal of having groups invest at least five per cent of their assets in climate solutions within five years.

Operation Noah’s Campaign Director, Clare Fussell, said the Green Investment Declaration is not just about the amount of money faith investors put into climate solutions, but also about the need for values-driven investors to publicly advocate for green investment.

Internationally, churches manage billions of pounds of investments. Iyad Abumoghli, a UN Environment Programme official, has called global faith groups – which collectively have trillions of dollars of assets and investments – the third largest economic power on earth. The Church Investors Group, which represents the charitable and pension funds of denominations, dioceses, religious orders and Christian charities, mainly in Britain and Ireland, has combined investment assets of over £26 billion.

Operation Noah says it is more crucial than ever that faith groups invest in climate solutions, as these investments are key to ensuring a rapid phase out of fossil fuels. However, French energy analysts recently said that global investment in renewables slowed in 2023, due to regulatory gaps and political pressures.

Some UK Churches and dioceses – almost all of which have now divested from fossil fuels – are already investing in climate solutions. The Quakers in Britain have dedicated over 18 per cent of their investment portfolio to climate solutions, including wind, solar, energy efficiency and public transport, and believe that the market value of their portfolio has increased as a result. Additionally, the Diocese of Truro in the Church of England estimates that 10 per cent of its investment portfolio is now in renewables, part of its initiative to “cherish creation, cut carbon and speak up”.

Sarah Edwards, Executive Director at JustMoney Movement said: “We want to see a larger, more diverse movement of Christians acting to ensure money is used for good, as part of a wider movement of all faiths and none. Collectively, our investment decisions can be a powerful part of our climate action. We hope that a wide range of church investors – from denominations through to local congregations – will embark on a journey of investing for impact through the Green Investment Declaration, as together we pray and act for a fairer, greener world.”

Clare Fussell said: “By signing up to this Green Investment Declaration, your Church or organisation is not just having a direct impact through your investments but, through speaking publicly about it, you’re also creating ripples throughout wider church and society, encouraging others to do likewise. Together we can play our part in the restoration of Creation, starting with our finances.”

Operation Noah and JustMoney Movement are hosting a free webinar, The Green Investment Declaration: How to join the movement, on Thursday 20 June at 1-2pm.

* Register for the webinar here.

* More information on the Declaration here.

Source: Operation Noah