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Divestment from fossil fuels
Divestment movement updates:
"The Vatican's call for divestment is a breath of hope in times when faith is more needed than ever," said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. "It is a powerful statement that attempting to profit off the destruction of the planet is plainly and simply immoral and unethical."
June 18, 2020
Divestment from fossil fuels
Vatican urges Catholics to drop investments in fossil fuels
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican urged Catholics on Thursday (June 18, 2020) to disinvest from the armaments and fossil fuel industries and to closely monitor companies in sectors such as mining to check if they are damaging the environment.
The calls are contained in a 225-page manual for church leaders and workers to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” on the need to protect nature, life and defenseless people.
The compendium suggests 'practical steps to achieve the goals of the 2015 encyclical', which strongly supported agreements to contain global warming and warned against the dangers of climate change.
Vatican document on Integral Ecology: Safeguarding Creation is everyone’s responsibility
The document, “Journeying for the care of the common home”, offers a guide to all Christians on how to maintain a healthy relationship with Creation. The document coincides with the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato sí, which was signed on 24 May 2015 and published on 18 June of 2015.
Importance of the Climate Question
Climate change has “a profound environmental, ethical, economic, political, and social ‘relevance’” which “impacts the poor above all.” Therefore, we first need “a new model of development” that links the fight against climate change to the fight against poverty, “in tune with the Social Doctrine of the Church”.
Recalling that "no one acts alone," the document calls for a commitment to "low carbon" sustainable development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Proposals made in this area include the reforestation of areas such as the Amazon rainforest, along with support for the international process aimed at defining the category of "climate refugee" to ensure them "necessary legal and humanitarian protections."
On May 18 the Vatican of the Catholic Church announced the largest joint divestment by faith communities to date... 42 organizations from 14 countries and 5 religions pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies or avoid such investments in the future.
The Vatican's bank has said it does not invest in fossil fuels and many Catholic dioceses and educational institutions around the world have taken similar positions.
The document urges Catholics to defend the rights of local populations to have a say in whether their lands can be used for oil or mineral extraction and the right to take strong stands against companies that cause environmental disasters or over-exploit natural resources such as forests.
The Fossil Fuels Divestment Movement
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Fossil Free has listed a growing number of institutions committing to divest from fossil fuels.
The commitments page lists a growing number of commitments from colleges and universities, cities, counties, religious institutions, and other institutions.
Visit their site and click on each name for more information -- and model language -- about the type of commitments they’re making.
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 Divestment News
Consider that the roughly 1,700 oil-and-gas and coal companies listed on stock exchanges are worth nearly $5 trillion, according to the research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Harvard, Ye Hypocrites
- On the global issue that matters most, Harvard University is losing credibility—not to mention money.
- -- By Bill McKibben
"It is, simply, a movement that is out of step with reality... "Divestment represents a diversion from the real search for technological solutions to managing climate risks that energy companies like ours are pursuing."
There’s a financial case for divesting from funds with holdings in the fossil fuel industry, according to an advisor and author on socially responsible investing, but most activists don’t make the financial case.
“They’re making a moral case, they’re making an environmental case,” Tom Nowak of Quantum Financial said at an appearance at Green Fest in Chicago Friday. “What do people respond to when it comes to money? Give me the financial case.”
The financial case, according to Nowak, derives from the increasing likelihood of a price on carbon...
- "Stranded asset" concerns
Hong Kong and London reports – Oil, gas and coal companies make up one of the world’s largest liquid asset classes, with a combined stock market valuation of nearly $5trn. In the past two years, dozens of public and private institutions have announced plans to divest their fossil fuel holdings because of environmental concerns, ethical investment strategies, or worries that assets might become “stranded” by emission regulations...
"[W]e are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become “stranded.”
 List of Divesting Orgs
(As of November 2014)
Colleges and Universities
College of the Atlantic
Foothill-De Anza Community College Foundation
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Green Mountain College
Peralta Community College District
San Francisco State University Foundation
University of Dayton
San Francisco, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Santa Fe, NM
State College, PA
Ann Arbor, MI
Boxtel, the Netherlands
New London, CT
Dunedin, New Zealand
Oxford, United Kingdom
City of Brisbane, CA
City of Moreland, Melbourne, Australia
City of Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
San Francisco, CA
Dane County, WI
United Church of Christ – National
Massachusetts United Church of Christ
Minnesota United Church of Christ
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oregon
First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, UT
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge, MA
Portsmouth South Church Unitarian First Unitarian Church of Pittsfield, ME
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, WI
First Presbyterian Palo Alto, CA
Uniting Church, New South Wales & ACT, Australia
Dover Friends Meeting, Dover, NH
Melbourne Unitarian Church, Australia
Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA
Anglican Diocese of Wellington, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Auckland, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Dunedin, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Waiapu, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki, New Zealand
Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Anglican Diocese of Perth, Australia
Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Australia
Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Australia
Anglican National Super, Australia
Brighthelm Church, Brighton, UK
Society for Community Work
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, MA
Maine Council of Churches, ME
Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, Toronto, Canada
Quakers in Britain
Colorado Ratnashri Sangha
First Unitarian Church, Ottawa
Union Theological Seminary, New York City
First Religious Society of Newburyport, MA
Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence, MA
Unitarian Universalist Association
Central Philadelphia Monthly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Lansdowne Monthly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Westtown Monthly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Lehigh Valley Monthly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Old Haverford Monthly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Newtown Monthly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Haverford Quarterly Quaker Meeting, PA, USA
Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, NY, USA
World Council of Churches
Community Friends, OH, USA
Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, Australia
Franciscan Sisters of Mary, MO, USA
Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, MA, USA
Church of Sweden
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County (UUCSC), RI, USA
First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR, USA
Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation, AZ, USA
First Universalist Church of Pittsfield, ME, USA
Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, NM, USA Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, CA, USA
UU Fellowship of Corvallis, OR, USA
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, IA, USA
Lake County Unitarian Universalist Church, WI, USA
First Parish (Old Ship Church), MA, USA
All Souls UU Church, MA, USA
Unity Temple UU Congregation, IL, USA
First Parish Church UU, MA, USA
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, VA, USA
Church of England Diocese of Oxford, United Kingdom
Divest-Invest Philanthropic Group
Sierra Club Foundation
Wallace Global Fund
Jubitz Family Foundation
The Educational Foundation of America
The Russell Family Foundation
KL Felicitas Foundation
The Chorus Foundation
Singing Field Foundation
Nia Community Foundation
The John Merck Fund
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
The Schmidt Family Foundation
Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
Ross Knowles Fund
Madden Sainsbury Foundation
Earth Welfare Foundation
McKinnon Family Foundation
The Hunt Foundation
Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation
Santa Fe Art Institute
New Progressive Alliance
Council of Canadians
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Students’ Society of McGill University (pdf)
Island Institute, Maine, US
British Medical Association
Oregon Environmental Council