Pope Francis Says It’s Past Time to Divest from Fossil Fuels

by Duane Nichols on June 21, 2020

Pope Francis is unequivocal in his call for urgent action on climate change

Vatican calls on Catholics to divest from fossil fuels

From an Article by Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, June 19, 2020

The Vatican on Thursday urged Catholics to divest from fossil fuels, a call made in church documents warning against the dangers of climate change.

The 225-page encyclical, which is sent to all bishops within the church, also encouraged divesting from arms as well as monitoring sectors like mining to ensure they are not damaging the environment.

The document, “Journeying Towards Care For Our Common Home,” argues people “could favor positive changes … by excluding from their investments companies that do not satisfy certain parameters,” according to Reuters.

That includes environmental factors, along with monitoring for human rights abuses like child labor.

It goes on to suggest that Catholics “shun companies that are harmful to human or social ecology, such as abortion and armaments, and to the environment, such as fossil fuels.”

Pope Francis has repeatedly urged action on climate change, calling on countries to uphold the Paris climate accord and admonishing oil and gas executives.

“Time is running out. Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done and concentrate on what needs to be done from today onward,” he told a group of oil executives gathered at the Vatican last year.

“We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now,” he said.

The Vatican has said it does not invest in fossil fuels.

The latest document marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical calling for protection of nature, life and defenseless people.


See also: New Vatican Document Urges Fossil Fuel Divestment to Serve Planet and the Common Good, John Queally, Common Dreams, June 18, 2020

The Vatican’s call for divestment is a breath of hope in times when faith is more needed than ever,” said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. “It is a powerful statement that attempting to profit off the destruction of the planet is plainly and simply immoral and unethical.”

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Fiona Harvey June 21, 2020 at 7:44 am

World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert

From an Article by Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, Manchester, UK, June 18, 2020

The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe, one of the world’s foremost energy experts has warned.

“This year is the last time we have, if we are not to see a carbon rebound,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency.

Governments are planning to spend $9tn (£7.2tn) globally in the next few months on rescuing their economies from the coronavirus crisis, the IEA has calculated. The stimulus packages created this year will determine the shape of the global economy for the next three years, according to Birol, and within that time emissions must start to fall sharply and permanently, or climate targets will be out of reach.

“The next three years will determine the course of the next 30 years and beyond,” Birol told the Guardian. “If we do not [take action] we will surely see a rebound in emissions. If emissions rebound, it is very difficult to see how they will be brought down in future. This is why we are urging governments to have sustainable recovery packages.”

Carbon dioxide emissions plunged by a global average of 17% in April, compared with last year, but have since surged again to within about 5% of last year’s levels.

In a report published on Thursday, the IEA – the world’s gold standard for energy analysis – set out the first global blueprint for a green recovery, focusing on reforms to energy generation and consumption. Wind and solar power should be a top focus, the report advised, alongside energy efficiency improvements to buildings and industries, and the modernisation of electricity grids.

Creating jobs must be the priority for countries where millions have been thrown into unemployment by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. The IEA’s analysis shows that targeting green jobs – such as retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, putting up solar panels and constructing wind farms – is more effective than pouring money into the high-carbon economy.

See the full article at this link:



Jan Milburn August 27, 2020 at 1:46 am

Major investment firm dumps Exxon, Chevron and Rio Tinto stock | Environment | The Guardian, August 24, 2020

“A Nordic hedge fund worth more than $90bn has dumped its stocks in some of the world’s biggest oil companies and miners responsible for lobbying against climate action.

Storebrand, a Norwegian asset manager, divested from miner Rio Tinto as well as US oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron as part of a new climate policy targeting companies that use their political clout to block green policies.

The investor is one of many major financial institutions divesting from polluting industries, but is understood to be the first to dump shares in companies which use their influence to slow the pace of climate action.

Jan Erik Saugestad, the chief executive of Storebrand, said corporate lobbying activity designed to undermine solutions to “the greatest risks facing humanity” is “simply unacceptable”.



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