No Fossil Fuels Investment Says World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches (WCC), a group representing half a billion Christians in 150 countries, has said it will no longer invest in coal, oil, and gas. The decision is being hailed as the most important divestment commitment from the religious community yet.
The decision was made at the WCC’s central committee meeting in Geneva this week. “The committee discussed the ethical investment criteria, and considered that the list of sectors in which the WCC does not invest should be extended to include fossil fuels,” read the finance policy committee report. While the decision does not force the group’s individual churches to divest themselves, it did recommend that its members do the same.
“The World Council of Churches reminds us that morality demands thinking as much about the future as about ourselves — and that there’s no threat to the future greater than the unchecked burning of fossil fuels,” Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, said in a statement. “This is a remarkable moment for the 590 million Christians in its member denominations: a huge percentage of humanity says today ‘this far and and no further.'”
This isn’t the first step the WCC has taken in the war against climate change. In May of this year, 30 religious leaders from around the globe gathered in Wuppertal, Germany as part of the annual WCC Working Group on Climate Change.
And Peter Prove, Director of WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, reported that we are now “faced with millennial consequences of climate change and the inadequacy of our short term political processes to engage with that issue in an effective way. In this context, the involvement of faith communities and religious leaders becomes even more critical. Faith communities provide the millennial perspective and the social capital for sustainable change in addressing climate change.”
Climate change is a growing concern among religious groups, many of which see the issue not only as a religious duty to respect God’s creation, but also care for those groups of people most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Many religious groups such as the Presbyterians, Unitarians, and some individual churches, have taken action in the form of divestment from fossil fuels. Others work with utilities and politicians, and others oppose conservative, special interest groups dedicated on keeping us hooked on fossil fuels.
“If ever there has been a David and Goliath situation, this is it,” said the Rev. Jim Antal, minister and president of the Massachusetts Conference of the United States of Christ, whose board of directors voted to divest its assets from fossil fuel companies within five years, becoming the first religious body in the United States to do so.
While fossil fuel companies are still the Goliath of the energy world, the WCC’s decision to divest has given David a better chance at delivering them a good blow right between the eyes.
News and Image Source: Think Progress
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