At its annual Synod last weekend (4–5 Oct) the Anglican Diocese of Perth joined the growing list of institutional investors deciding to abandon investments in fossil fuel exposed industries.
The Synod directed its investment board, The Perth Diocesan Trustees, to produce a report within 12 months detailing how it can divest from fossil fuels and direct investment funds into renewable energy investments. The PDT had already committed itself to preferencing renewable energy technologies over fossil fuel based investments.
Speakers for the motion said that the Church must not profit from industries that contribute to climate change and destroy the lives and livelihoods of poor communities and countries.
Church advocates for divestment detailed a theology of creation, claiming that God’s care extends not just to human beings but the whole of creation. Climate change is affecting all of the living systems of the Earth, and if unaddressed may have disastrous impacts on agriculture and fresh water systems which will predominantly affect the world’s poor.
“In an ecological age the ethic of reciprocity extends to the Earth and all its living creatures, and it certainly extends to the poorest of the world’s poor, and to our children and our children’s children. We must love what God loves”, Anglican EcoCare speaker the Reverend Evan Pederick said.
Currently the Church’s investment body has holdings in mining shares, as well as interest bearing deposits and commercial property investments which will have to be examined to determine the extent to which its reserves are directly or indirectly exposed to fossil fuel investments.
Other environmental motions passed by the Church’s annual Synod included calling on the Federal Government to enact an effective carbon pricing mechanism and participate meaningfully in international forums leading up to the UN Paris conference in 2015, and on the WA Government to take note of scientific and medical concerns around shale gas fracking, ensuring environmental and social impact studies are publicly tabled and that local communities and landowners are given a power of veto.
You can learn more about climate change and act to help people in the Pacific by signing the Oceans of Justice petition at https://anglicanalliance.org/Advocacy/oceans-of-justice
Article from the Anglican Diocese of Perth
Picture: Faith groups joined the People’s Climate March in New York and worldwide on 21 September 2014 to demand action on climate change.