Archive: May 2020 - Operation Noah

Bright Now Report Webinar

Posted in: Featured

We are delighted to invite you to a free webinar to launch our new report, Church investments in major oil companies: Paris compliant or Paris defiant?

Wednesday 10th June
7pm-8:30pm
Online
Register for the webinar now

The report shows the gap between the business plans of major oil companies and the Paris Agreement targets, and calls on Churches in the UK to urgently divest from fossil fuels to tackle the climate emergency. It has received coverage in national media including the i paper and The Telegraph.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams, said in response to the report: ‘The current health crisis has highlighted as never before the need for coherent international action in the face of global threat. Can we learn the lesson and apply it to the global threat of climate change? To do so means taking practical and effective steps to reduce our lethal dependence on fossil fuels, and this report challenges the Churches to take these steps as a matter of urgency.’

The webinar will include:

  • Key findings of the new Bright Now report with James Buchanan and Bokani Tshidzu from Operation Noah
  • Why and how faith organisations are deciding to end support for fossil fuels and invest in the clean technologies of the future
  • Responses from speakers in various Christian denominations, who will share insights and reflections on divestment in their Churches and faith groups
  • Q&A with our speaker panel

We will be joined by the following speakers:

  • Revd Dr David Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland
  • Canon Giles Goddard, Vicar of St John’s Waterloo and member of Church of England’s Environmental Working Group
  • Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland and former Convenor of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council
  • Stephen Power SJ, former Treasurer of Jesuits in Britain who manages the Jesuits’ ethical investment strategy
  • Michael Pryke, former Methodist Youth President

In this crucial time for urgent action on the climate crisis, could your Church or Christian organisation join the growing movement for fossil free Churches, as 42 faith institutions have done earlier this month?

Register for the webinar now

We are looking forward to seeing you then. Please do spread the word!

May Newsletter out now

Posted in: Articles, Newsletters

Read our May Newsletter

We have news of our online AGM and Supporters’ Event, a webinar based on our new Bright Now report and an update on Climate Sunday.

To receive future newsletters straight to your inbox, please use the email sign-up form on the left or click here.

Working together for a just and green recovery

Posted in: Articles, Blog

At Operation Noah we believe in working alongside others to achieve a better world. In the past month we’ve been co-signatories on a number of letters calling for a just and green recovery from COVID-19.

  • RSPB and the Green Alliance organised an open letter on a green recovery to the Prime Minister. Amongst other things, the letter called on the Prime Minister to create a more resilient economy that contributes to a climate-safe future and to build global ambition on tackling the climate crisis and restoring nature by bringing global leaders together in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Read the letter.
  • Biofuelwatch organised a letter responding to a consultation on the future of biomass subsidies. Biofuelwatch are calling for an end to subsidies for high carbon biomass power in the UK. Operation Noah supporters are welcome to participate in this consultation too, although you’ll need to be quick as it closes on 29th May. More information.
  • We co-signed a letter to First Minister in Scotland, calling for the country to lead on a radical response to the double crises of climate change and Coronavirus. This letter was organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland.
  • We co-signed a statement stating that the phase out of fossil fuel production is a key pillar for a Just Recovery. The statement was organised by Global Gas and Oil Network.

Faith institutions call for a just recovery by divesting from fossil fuels

Posted in: Featured

Bailouts and recovery packages must not empower polluters

As major challenges for the global economy are predicted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a diverse group of faith institutions is putting the call for a just economic recovery into practice.

Today, 42 faith institutions from 14 countries, including 21 from the UK, announce their divestment from fossil fuels. This is the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions. It comes from institutions in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, Spain, the UK, and the United States.

As governments around the world make substantial investments in an economic recovery, faith communities urge them to think long term and focus on a recovery that is low-carbon and just. 

Mark Campanale, Founder and Executive Chair of Carbon Tracker, an independent think tank that analyzes the financial impact of an energy transition, said, “A comprehensive economic recovery means taking the long view, investing now in infrastructure that will serve communities for years to come. Fossil fuels do not have a place in the long-term health of humanity. Faith institutions’ commitment to create a better world is leadership that governments should follow.”

Earlier this month, a new report from Operation Noah showed that none of the major oil companies are compliant with the Paris agreement targets. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams, said in response to the report, “The current health crisis has highlighted as never before the need for coherent international action in the face of global threat. Can we learn the lesson and apply it to the global threat of climate change? To do so means taking practical and effective steps to reduce our lethal dependence on fossil fuels.”

Today’s multi-faith announcement comes from Methodist, Anglican, Catholic and Buddhist  institutions, among others. The group includes the Jesuits in Britain, which divested its £400 million ($517.5 million) equity portfolio from fossil fuels in February 2020.

Illustrating the need for a just recovery, the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace in Bangladesh is among those committing to divest from fossil fuels. 

Bangladesh is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, where more than half a million people live near the Bay of Bengal. The Bay of Bengal is extremely vulnerable to the greater risk of catastrophic storms that come with climate change. A viral pandemic and a catastrophic storm would bring one of the world’s most vulnerable communities to a halt, illustrating the need to repair the faults that have left economies near the breaking point. 

Father Endra Wijayanta, director of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission for the Archdiocese of Semarang, in Indonesia, said, “In this COVID-19 pandemic, it is the exact time not only to reflect, but to act. We have to stop our ecological spiral of death. We have to revive our ecological hope, in massive repentance of humankind, by taking the pathway to more sustainable living.”

Faith communities have long taken the lead in the global divestment movement, and have contributed the single greatest number of commitments, with over 350 commitments in the global total of over 1,400. Today’s action by faith institutions puts pressure on governments around the world to enact policies that will lead to a comprehensive and resilient recovery. 

Catholics’ participation is especially resonant as today marks the start of Laudato Si’ Week, a global commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology. After being invited to participate in Laudato Si’ Week by Pope Francis, Catholics have taken up the project to build a more just and sustainable future together. In the last month, 21 Catholic organizations with $40 billion in assets under management committed to invest in companies that align with their values by signing the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge

A full list of the 42 institutions divesting from fossil fuels and statements from leaders can be found here.

Tomás Insua, executive director of Global Catholic Climate Movement, said: “Every dollar invested in fossil fuels is a vote for suffering. These institutions are taking prophetic action to light the way towards a more just and sustainable future because now more than ever, we need to protect our communities and build a just recovery together.”

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, said: “The decisions we make now will affect the future of humanity for thousands of years. These faith institutions are showing strong leadership in response to the climate crisis, and we urge governments around the world to follow their lead in ending support for fossil fuels and investing in the clean technologies of the future.”

Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, World Council of Churches Deputy General Secretary said: “We reiterate the urgent concerns of Christians around the world in relation to climate change and its adverse effects on the whole of creation. The moral imperative of fossil fuel divestment and of investing in a low-carbon path to realizing economic, social, and ecological wellbeing and sustainability for the whole creation is more urgent than never.”

Rev Rachel Mash, Coordinator of Green Anglicans (Anglican Church of Southern Africa), said: “The COVID-19 crisis shows us that our current way of living is unsustainable, we are sick because the Earth is sick.  We cannot go back to normal, we must grow back to a new way of sustainable living. As we move into a post COVID-19 era, we must move away from sources of energy that contribute to climate change and air pollution.”

Reverend Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Green Faith, said: “Extractive corporations, and the banks that finance them, are demanding government bailouts and the dismantling of environmental protections in the middle of a global pandemic and economic collapse. The idea that precious funds should bail out the world’s wealthiest corporations, not the people whose lives are at stake, is hard to fathom. This injustice is wrong. This is the time to rethink how we relate to one another and the earth. The religious groups announcing their divestment from fossil fuels today are stepping into the breach at a time when nothing is the same and everything has to change.”

Yossi Cadan, Global Finance Campaign Manager at 350.org, said: “Once again, faith groups continue to lead the way and clearly indicate to the rest of the world that any future investments or stimulus funds must exclude fossil fuels and yield long-term structural emissions reductions. The solutions to the economic crisis are the solutions to the climate crisis. The economic downturn must be an opportunity to accelerate the transition needed towards low- and zero-carbon. And any financial intervention, including investors, needs to put people and their livelihoods front and center.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faith institutions call for a just recovery by divesting from fossil fuels

Posted in: News

The following is a joint press release by the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Operation Noah, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith.

18 May 2020

For immediate release

UK Contact: James Buchanan, Operation Noah

james.buchanan@operationnoah.org, +44 7801 570 653

Faith institutions call for a just recovery by divesting from fossil fuels
Bailouts and recovery packages must not empower polluters

As major challenges for the global economy are predicted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a diverse group of faith institutions is putting the call for a just economic recovery into practice.

Today, 42 faith institutions from 14 countries announce their divestment from fossil fuels. This is the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions. It comes from institutions in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, Spain, the UK, and the United States.

As governments around the world make substantial investments in an economic recovery, faith communities urge them to think long term and focus on a recovery that is low-carbon and just. 

Mark Campanale, Founder and Executive Chair of Carbon Tracker, an independent think tank that analyzes the financial impact of an energy transition, said, “A comprehensive economic recovery means taking the long view, investing now in infrastructure that will serve communities for years to come. Fossil fuels do not have a place in the long-term health of humanity. Faith institutions’ commitment to create a better world is leadership that governments should follow.”

Earlier this month, a new report from Operation Noah showed that none of the major oil companies are compliant with the Paris agreement targets. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams, said in response to the report, “The current health crisis has highlighted as never before the need for coherent international action in the face of global threat. Can we learn the lesson and apply it to the global threat of climate change? To do so means taking practical and effective steps to reduce our lethal dependence on fossil fuels.”

Today’s multi-faith announcement comes from Methodist, Anglican, Catholic and Buddhist  institutions, among others. The group includes the Jesuits in Britain, which divested its £400 million ($517.5 million) equity portfolio from fossil fuels in February 2020.

Illustrating the need for a just recovery, the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace in Bangladesh is among those committing to divest from fossil fuels. 

Bangladesh is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, where more than half a million people live near the Bay of Bengal. The Bay of Bengal is extremely vulnerable to the greater risk of catastrophic storms that come with climate change. A viral pandemic and a catastrophic storm would bring one of the world’s most vulnerable communities to a halt, illustrating the need to repair the faults that have left economies near the breaking point. 

Father Endra Wijayanta, director of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission for the Archdiocese of Semarang, in Indonesia, said, “In this COVID-19 pandemic, it is the exact time not only to reflect, but to act. We have to stop our ecological spiral of death. We have to revive our ecological hope, in massive repentance of humankind, by taking the pathway to more sustainable living.”

Faith communities have long taken the lead in the global divestment movement, and have contributed the single greatest number of commitments, with over 350 commitments in the global total of over 1,400. Today’s action by faith institutions puts pressure on governments around the world to enact policies that will lead to a comprehensive and resilient recovery. 

Catholics’ participation is especially resonant as today marks the start of Laudato Si’ Week, a global commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology. After being invited to participate in Laudato Si’ Week by Pope Francis, Catholics have taken up the project to build a more just and sustainable future together. In the last month, 21 Catholic organizations with $40 billion in assets under management committed to invest in companies that align with their values by signing the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge

A full list of the 42 institutions divesting from fossil fuels and statements from leaders can be found here.

Statements from leaders:

Tomás Insua, executive director of Global Catholic Climate Movement, said: “Every dollar invested in fossil fuels is a vote for suffering. These institutions are taking prophetic action to light the way towards a more just and sustainable future because now more than ever, we need to protect our communities and build a just recovery together.”

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, said: “The decisions we make now will affect the future of humanity for thousands of years. These faith institutions are showing strong leadership in response to the climate crisis, and we urge governments around the world to follow their lead in ending support for fossil fuels and investing in the clean technologies of the future.”

Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, World Council of Churches Deputy General Secretary said: “We reiterate the urgent concerns of Christians around the world in relation to climate change and its adverse effects on the whole of creation. The moral imperative of fossil fuel divestment and of investing in a low-carbon path to realizing economic, social, and ecological wellbeing and sustainability for the whole creation is more urgent than never.”

Rev Rachel Mash, Coordinator of Green Anglicans (Anglican Church of Southern Africa), said: “The COVID-19 crisis shows us that our current way of living is unsustainable, we are sick because the Earth is sick.  We cannot go back to normal, we must grow back to a new way of sustainable living. As we move into a post COVID-19 era, we must move away from sources of energy that contribute to climate change and air pollution.”

Reverend Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Green Faith, said: “Extractive corporations, and the banks that finance them, are demanding government bailouts and the dismantling of environmental protections in the middle of a global pandemic and economic collapse. The idea that precious funds should bail out the world’s wealthiest corporations, not the people whose lives are at stake, is hard to fathom. This injustice is wrong. This is the time to rethink how we relate to one another and the earth. The religious groups announcing their divestment from fossil fuels today are stepping into the breach at a time when nothing is the same and everything has to change.”

Yossi Cadan, Global Finance Campaign Manager at 350.org, said: “Once again, faith groups continue to lead the way and clearly indicate to the rest of the world that any future investments or stimulus funds must exclude fossil fuels and yield long-term structural emissions reductions. The solutions to the economic crisis are the solutions to the climate crisis. The economic downturn must be an opportunity to accelerate the transition needed towards low- and zero-carbon. And any financial intervention, including investors, needs to put people and their livelihoods front and center.”

ENDS

Contact: james.buchanan@operationnoah.org, +44 7801 570 653

New report calls on Churches to urgently divest from fossil fuels

Posted in: Featured

A new report from Operation Noah, the Christian climate change charity, is calling on Churches in the UK to urgently divest from fossil fuels in response to the climate emergency.

Church investments in major oil companies: Paris compliant or Paris defiant? shows the gap between the business plans of major oil companies and the Paris Agreement targets, which commits to limit global average temperature increases to well below 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels, and aims for 1.5°C.

The report draws on research from a variety of key sources, including Carbon Tracker’s Breaking the Habit report and the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) 2020 State of Transition Report, both of which demonstrate that none of the major oil companies are aligned with the Paris Agreement targets.

It is published as several major oil companies are set to hold their AGMs, including Shell (Tuesday 19 May), BP and ExxonMobil (Wednesday 27 May) and Total (Friday 29 May). It shows that Shell and BP intend to increase oil and gas production by 38% and 20% respectively between 2018 and 2030, when global carbon emissions must fall by 55% by 2030 in order to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C, according to the 2019 UN Emissions Gap report.

The report highlights that Shell and BP plan to spend huge sums on exploration and extraction of new reserves between now and 2030 ($149 billion and $71 billion respectively), when scientists are warning that the majority of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground.

It also draws attention to the fact that BP and Shell, which spend most among the major oil companies on lobbying against climate action, belong to trade associations such as the American Petroleum Institute that have successfully lobbied for weaker environmental regulation during the Covid-19 crisis. The report strengthens the calls for bailouts to support workers, but not oil and gas corporations.

Several UK Churches have already completed the process of divestment from fossil fuels, including Quakers in Britain, the Church of Ireland and the United Reformed Church. In others, such as the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church, Church bodies have made divestment recommendations, which should be acted on as a matter of urgency. Two Catholic dioceses in England and Wales have so far divested from fossil fuels, and the report calls on the remaining dioceses to join them – and 150 other Catholic institutions around the world – in making divestment commitments.

The 2017 Methodist Conference called for the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church to divest from oil and gas companies whose business investment plans were not aligned with the Paris Agreement target of a global temperature rise well below 2°C by 2020. In light of the research outlined, the report calls on the Methodist Church to divest from all fossil fuel companies now.

The Church of England General Synod in July 2018 voted to begin divestment in 2020 from oil and gas companies that are ‘not taking seriously their responsibilities’ in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and complete divestment from those not on track to align with the Paris Agreement by 2023. The report argues that none of the major oil companies are taking their responsibilities seriously, and the divestment process must begin now.

James Buchanan, Operation Noah’s Bright Now Campaign Manager, said: ‘All major oil companies continue to spend huge sums on the exploration and extraction of new fossil fuel reserves, as well as lobbying against climate action. The evidence is overwhelming that none of these companies are ‘Paris compliant’. We strongly encourage Churches to demonstrate moral leadership at this key moment in history by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in the clean technologies of the future.’

Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, said: ‘The current health crisis has highlighted as never before the need for coherent international action in the face of global threat. Can we learn the lesson and apply it to the global threat of climate change? To do so means taking practical and effective steps to reduce our lethal dependence on fossil fuels, and this report challenges the Churches to take these steps as a matter of urgency.’

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