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Divestment from fossil fuels

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Divest Now

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."

Sustainable Business

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.

Followers of St Francis of Assisi.jpg

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."


May 2020

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.

Integral Ecology

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

Students for a Just and Stable Future

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Rockefellers divest

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[edit] GoFossilFree

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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[edit] 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


"Thoughts" on divestment from the vice president of public and government affairs for Exxon Mobil Corporation

"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...

Divestment from fossil fuels

  • "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...

Exxon Mobile goes on record re: stranded assets

"[W]e are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become “stranded.”


[edit] 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

Hampshire College

Naropa University

Peralta Community College District

Pitzer College

Prescott College

San Francisco State University Foundation

Stanford University

Sterling College

Unity College

University of Dayton


Seattle, WA

San Francisco, CA

Portland, OR

Eugene, OR

Berkeley, CA

Richmond, CA

Santa Monica, CA

Boulder, CO

Santa Fe, NM

Madison, WI

Bayfield, WI

State College, PA

Ithaca, NY

Truro, MA

Provincetown, MA

Providence, RI

Cambridge, MA

Northampton, MA

Ann Arbor, MI

Boxtel, the Netherlands

New London, CT

Amherst, MA

Sudbury, MA

Concord, MA

Framingham, MA

Dunedin, New Zealand

Oakland, California

Örebro, Sweden

Oxford, United Kingdom

Eugene, OR

City of Brisbane, CA

City of Moreland, Melbourne, Australia

City of Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Ashland, OR


San Francisco, CA

Dane County, WI

Religious Institutions

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

Diakonia, Sweden

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

Park Foundation

The Russell Family Foundation

Compton Foundation

KL Felicitas Foundation

The Chorus Foundation

Singing Field Foundation

Nia Community Foundation

The John Merck Fund

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Solidago Foundation

Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

Granary Foundation

The Schmidt Family Foundation

Ben & Jerry’s Foundation

Pax Fund

Ross Knowles Fund

Madden Sainsbury Foundation

Earth Welfare Foundation

McKinnon Family Foundation

The Hunt Foundation

Pace Foundation

Mullum Trust


Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation

Other Institutions

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

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