The Diocese of Northampton has announced it is divesting from fossil fuels, meaning that half our Catholic dioceses have now divested.
The diocese announced its decision, along with 31 other faith institutions from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy and France, making their assets permanently off limits to fossil fuel companies.
Alongside Northampton, the Catholic diocese of Catania, Italy, will be divesting, as well as three religious orders, including the Carmelites, eight Catholic charities, a Catholic parish in Canada, seven Church of England dioceses, and many others.
Archbishop Giovanni Ricchiuti, President of Pax Christi, Italy, one of the divesting Catholic charities, said: “The Pax Christi Movement joins the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign because it embraces the urgent message for social and environmental justice contained in Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’.
“Each of us must do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
“But it is also necessary to urge policymakers to quickly develop policies that will permanently replace energy production from extractive fossil [fuel] sources that, as we know, damage the climate of our planet and exploit entire populations.”
Archbishop Ricchiuti’s comments were echoed by Roberta Vincini and Francesco Scoppola, Presidents of the Catholic Scouting Movement in Italy.
They said: “Disinvestment from fossil fuels is, first of all, for us Guides and Scouts, an educational choice. We want to care for our brothers and sisters who, in the exploited territories, live in the most painful conditions of poverty.
“We must live out the call of Pope Francis to change our lifestyle to defend our Common Home. We are already beyond the propitious moment to act.”
Religious institutions manage a combined $3trillion (£2.42trillion) of investments globally, and faith groups have divested from fossil fuels more than any other sector.