The United Reformed Church (URC) Eastern Synod has joined 35 faith institutions from 11 countries in announcing its divestment from fossil fuels.
The announcement, made on 17 May, comes from institutions in Brazil, Argentina, India, the Philippines, Uganda, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, the UK and the US, along with the URC, Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, and Baptist churches, among others.
These commitments highlight the urgent need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean alternatives in response to the growing climate crisis.
Eleven out of 13 URC Synods have now joined the URC in announcing their divestment from fossil fuels, as recommended by Mission Council in May 2019.
Jeremy Flack, Green Advocate for URC Eastern Synod, said: “In taking this practical step of divesting from fossil fuels, the Synod is demonstrating its desire to follow through on its commitments to reduce our carbon footprint in response to the growing climate crisis. With many of the world’s poorest already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, despite having done the least to cause it, it is only right that we act now to do all we can to safeguard creation.”
The global divestment announcement takes place as the UK prepares to host the G7 Summit in June and the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow in November.
As governments around the world continue to invest significant sums in economic recovery packages, it is vital that these investments support a just and green recovery from Covid-19.
Yet, as the UN has stated, only 18% of the Covid-19 recovery spending announced by the world’s 50 biggest economies in 2020 can be considered green.
Faith communities have long been at the forefront of the global divestment movement and have contributed the single greatest number of commitments. Out of the global total of over 1,300 divestment commitments made to date, more than 450 are from faith institutions.
James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, added: “As the UK prepares to host the G7 and COP26 this year, it is hugely encouraging to see so many Churches and faith groups announcing their divestment from fossil fuels.
“We urge governments around the world to follow their lead by ending support for fossil fuels and investing in the clean technologies of the future.”
Image: Markus Spiske/Unsplash
Published: 18 May 2021