Coalition Releases Fossil Fuel Divestment Guide for Catholic Institutions
Encourage divestment in accord with Church teaching
A groundbreaking new resource has been released to assist Catholic institutions in making decisions about their investments in fossil fuels. The toolkit, titled “Ethical Investments in an Era of Climate Change,” equips church leaders, financial officers, and other decision-makers to assess their investment decisions in the light of Catholic Social Teaching.
It is the first global resource of its kind.
The toolkit relies on several decades’ worth of Catholic teaching on climate change, which was encapsulated and given new emphasis in Pope Francis’s encyclical letter on ecology, Laudato Si’. The guide is intended for Catholic audiences, but can be used equally well by any institution that wishes to fulfill the vision of Laudato Si’.
Dr. Lorna Gold, Head of Policy and Advocacy for Trocaire and the main author of the guide, said, “The case for Catholic institutions to now consider divesting from fossil fuels is overwhelming. It is a decision that can be based on both their shared values of environmental protection and concern for the poor, and the financial wisdom of preparing for a carbon-neutral economy.”
Cecilia Dall’Oglio, European Programs Manager for Global Catholic Climate Movement, said, “Because we come from a Catholic perspective, we understand the needs of decision-makers in Catholic institutions. This how-to guide covers scientific research and links it to the Church’s social teaching. It provides case studies from Catholic institutions that have already made the switch, and lays out clear and easy steps for anyone considering divestment. We truly believe that this resource will help the Church embody justice and care for our common home.”
The information in the guide may assist Church decision-makers in choosing to divest from fossil fuels in advance of the next joint Catholic divestment announcement, slated for 22 April 2018. Divesting institutions are encouraged to sign the fossil-free pledge, available at bit.ly/fossil-free-pledge.
The organizations that have created the divestment toolkit are Global Catholic Climate Movement and Trocaire, the official development agency of the Irish Catholic Church.
Global Catholic Climate Movement is an international network of 650+ member organizations and thousands of Catholic people, responding to Pope Francis’ call for action on climate change in the Laudato Si’ encyclical.
Trócaire and Global Catholic Climate Movement are not regulated as investment advisory entities. Nothing that appears in the document should be deemed to be financial or investment advice. The reader should always seek independent investment advice before making any changes to their investments, climate-related or otherwise.
Daniela Finamore, Divest-Invest and European Programs Coordinator
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