Anglican Church to Divest from Fossil Fuels
Anglican Church Makes Ethical Choice to Divest from Fossil Fuels
350 Aotearoa is celebrating the news that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies.
They are the latest of more than 90 other churches, universities, trusts and cities around the world who have committed to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry for ethical and financial reasons, in what is a rapidly growing international movement.
“It’s heartening to see the Anglican Church join the growing list of institutions which are acknowledging that it is no longer ethical to try to make a profit from the industry that is the leading driver of climate change.” said 350 Aotearoa National Coordinator, Ashlee Gross.
The church General Synod voted as part of its annual meeting on Thursday, passing a resolution to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to divest shares in fossil fuel companies by mid-2016. This follows on from five regional Dioceses of the Anglican Church of New Zealand voting to divest last year.
The pledge also follows an announcement earlier this week from Dunedin City Council that they have committed to exclude investment in the fossil fuel extraction industry from the council held Waipori Investment fund.
“The Anglican Church has shown clear moral leadership today and we congratulate them for making this pledge, which reminds us all of our moral duty to look at how our actions, including our financing and investments, are shaping the future for New Zealanders, Pacific Islanders, and people around the world, many of whom are already facing serious, and too often deadly, impacts from climate change.”
While many actions have been outlined by scientists, policy makers, and NGOs as necessary to address climate change, divestment, and the importance of rapidly shifting financing away from the fossil fuel industry, has been increasingly highlighted as an additional important part of the solution, including by the major IPCC Working Group III report on mitigation released last month.
350 Aotearoa is the New Zealand organising group for global climate change organisation 350.org, which helped launch the divestment movement in 2012 with a call from co-founder Bill McKibben and others.
350 Aotearoa is currently calling on other churches, charitable trusts, universities, Westpac and other banks, KiwiSaver providers, and the NZ Super Fund to divest as part of their Go Fossil Free campaign.