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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME


3 October 2017

Catholic Church to announce major fossil fuel divestment

A group of about 40 Catholic institutions will announce tomorrow a record divestment from fossil fuels.

The news of the divestment of the biggest amount of church-owned money ever will mark the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi, who is Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment.

The group includes the Episcopal Conference of Belgium, the Archdiocese of Cape Town, the diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino, €4.5bn German Church bank and Catholic relief organisation Caritas.

Stefania Proietti, Mayor of Assisi, told the Guardian: “When we pay attention to the environment, we pay attention to poor people, who are the first victims of climate change. When we invest in fossil fuels, we stray very far from social justice. But when we disinvest and invest in renewable and energy efficiency instead, we can mitigate climate change, create a sustainable new economic deal and, most importantly, help the poor.”

Former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres commented that this was “a further sign we are on the way to achieving our collective mission”.

Christiana Figueres also said: “I hope we will see more leaders like these 40 Catholic institutions commit, because while this decision makes smart financial sense, acting collectively to deliver a better future for everybody is also our moral imperative.”

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