Grounding for Action (Beyond Fossil Fuels) is an initiative from EcoFatih Recovery that focuses on moving beyond fossil fuels. This project hopes to engage faith communities in courageous, creative public action toward a sustainable future. They have monthly meetings to discuss coaching and upcoming projects. The current project is focused in Portland with the Portland Just Energy Transition initiative, which is a city-wide faith-based strategy. To read more on Grounding for Action and the ongoing project, click here.
The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference announced it would divest from fossil fuels hours before the arrival of Pope Francis. The bishops move means withdrawing investments in 200 oil and gas companies within five years. The bill was introduced in the Irish Parliament requiring the country’s sovereign wealth fund to divest from all fossil fuels, and if the Irish bill passes, it will make Ireland the first government to divest from fossil fuels. To read more, click here.
GreenFaith has created a list of known religious efforts to divest from fossil fuels. The list includes religious groups that have: divested their own funds, committed to never investing in fossil fuels, passed or considered national or local resolutions, focused on reinvestment, or taken divestment or reinvestment on pension funds. There is a key that provides further detail on the action of each religious group. To read more, click here.
The Church of England will divest its $16 billion fund from companies that are not aligning themselves with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The decision, which passed by a majority of 347 to 4 votes, states that the church will sell stakes in companies not taking steps towards climate goals by 2023. On its website, the Church of England said, “We believe that responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation. Our environmental campaign exists to enable the whole church to address—in faith, practice and mission—the issue of climate change.” To read more, click here.
In June 2014, the University of Dayton became the first Catholic university in the United States to announce their divestment from coal and fossil fuels. Members of the university staff see this move as part of the university’s commitment to “being a responsible steward of the Earth’s natural resources.” This decision was commended by the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Their decision was one inspired by faith reflection as well as a commitment to financial stability for the university.
Beyond divesting from coal and fossil fuels, the university has taken further steps to move their campus toward efficiency and sustainability. A signatory of the of The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACU PCC) and a member of other sustainability committees, the university now has two full time employees who work to improve campus sustainability and offers academic programs in these areas as well.
The University of Dayton is also home to the Hanley Sustainability Institute.
Bright Now: Towards Fossil Free Churches is a campaign from Operation Noah on the necessity for churches to divest from fossil fuel companies. This initiative is based on the belief that the care for God’s creation must extend to the way in which churches invest their funds. The campaign includes a report on the urgency of the issue, a reflective paper on the ethics of fossil fuels, and tools to help divest a church from fossil fuels. To read more, click here.
Operation Noah is a Christian organization that supports interfaith work on climate change. Their mission is to promote and to develop leadership in response to the climate crisis, support the transition to 100% clean energy, engage Christian communities, and to produce resources to help Christians understand and explore the issues surrounding climate change. To read more, click here.
The Fossil Free United Methodist Church is on a mission to get the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church to invest in clean energy companies. Their website highlights what they are doing in their congregations and potentially your congregation.
On their website you will find their strategy to educate, support and converse with individuals, congregations, the General Conference and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. They’ve posted blogs of what they’ve done and progress that they have made on their mission to clean energy. You will also find a webinar that you can schedule with your group along with other resources to support the fossil free mission. Fossil Free UMC addresses the effects of fossil fuel divestments but promotes the long term benefits of investing in fossil free energy on their legislation page.