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Spring push to end fossil-fuel reliance

22 December 2016


Wintry: a Shell logo at a petrol station in west London, last January

Wintry: a Shell logo at a petrol station in west London, last January

CHURCHES, parishes, and indi­viduals will be urged next spring to join a global disinvestment mobil­isa­tion to end the dependence on fossil fuels.

The campaign Bright Now will launch the event next May to increase pressure on big investors to move their money away from coal, oil, and gas producers into green-energy technologies.

The campaign, which is run by a Christian charity that campaigns on climate change, Operation Noah, is putting together a resource for churches on how they can disinvest from fossil fuels and reinvest in renewable energy.

“It’s true the large investments are held by national organisations,” Operation Noah’s campaign man­ager, James Buchanan, said.

“The Church of England was reported recently as having £101 million invested in Shell, and £91 million in BP, and our ultimate aim is for the national Churches to shift their investment to renewables.

“But one thing people can do is support the Bright Now campaign. Individuals can write to church in­­vestors, both nationally and in their diocese. Some individual churches, too, have their own invest­ments; so they could look at where their money is invested.

“There are banks and building societies out there which don’t invest in fossil-fuel companies; so, even at quite a local level, churches can have an effect.”

He was speaking as campaigners gathered to mark the first annivers­ary of the Paris Agreement at the 2015 UN Climate Change Confer­ence to limit global warming.

At simultaneous briefings in London and New York, it was announced that the amount of disinvestment from fossil fuels in the past 12 months had doubled to $5 trillion.

“That just shows the growth of the divestment movement since the Paris agreement,” Mr Buchanan said.

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