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Catholic groups ramp up international divestment momentum

Announcement coincides with negotiations on implementing Paris agreement

Announcement coincides with negotiations on implementing Paris agreement

Catholic organisations around the world have announced the withdrawal of investments from fossil fuels companies in the largest joint Catholic divestment to date.

The nine groups – including religious orders and dioceses from the UK, USA and Italy – made the announcement to coincide with international negotiations this month on implementing measures in the Paris Agreement on climate change. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are the main cause of the greenhouse gas emissions which are changing the climate and pushing people in the world’s poorest communities deeper into poverty.

The news comes following a conference held this January in Rome where Catholic institutions demonstrated ways to divest assets from fossil fuels and reinvest in measures which protect the environment.

World leaders from the G7 group of nations will meet in Italy from 26-27 May to discuss the biggest threats to global stability, including climate change.

Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy at CAFOD, said: “Global temperatures last year were, for the third year running, the hottest on record. Catholics around the world have recognised the impact this has on our sisters and brothers and are responding to the Pope’s call for us to take action.

“The announcement that yet more Catholic institutions are moving their money away from fossil fuels once again shows how the Church is leading the way in the fight against climate change.”

Tomas Insua, Executive Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, said: “The Catholic response to climate change is gathering momentum exponentially. From refusing to invest in fossil fuels to installing solar panels on church roofs, more and more Catholics are taking concrete actions to protect creation and the vulnerable in their communities and beyond.

“This momentum is something that should not go unnoticed by world leaders meeting for the G7 summit before they return home to turn politics to policy.”

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The institutions divesting are: St Joseph's Province of the Congregation of the Passion - English Province of the Passionists (UK); the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit (Global, General Curia); the Diocese of Pescara (Italy); Il Dialogo (Italy); the Italian Jesuits (Italy); Rete Interdiocesana Nuovi Stili di Vita (Italy); Siloe Monastic Community (Italy); MGR Foundation (USA); and the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (USA).


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