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2020 at Operation Noah

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A look back at the work of Operation Noah this year.
January: 20 faith organisations announced their divestment from fossil fuels as part of the Epiphany Declaration for Fossil Free Churches.February: The Church of England made a decision to go net zero by 2030. The Jesuits in Britain announced that they would be fully divested from fossil fuels by the end of 2020.
March: The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace announced that they had completed the divestment from fossil fuels of their UK investment portfolio. The Sisters made the decision to divest in 2018 and were 100% fossil free by 2019. Read more.
April: We published four case studies showing how faith organisations are investing in the clean energy future. They demonstrate how two cathedrals and a number of churches are making using of renewables on their buildings and investing in local community energy. Read them here. Sir John Houghton, a Patron of Operation Noah, passed away, aged 88. Read our tribute.

May: 42 faith institutions from 14 countries, including 21 from the UK, announced their divestment from fossil fuels. We worked with the World Council of Churches, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith on this announcement. Read more.
June: We ran a webinar to launch our new report, Church investments in major oil companies: Paris compliant or Paris defiant? 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 received coverage in national media including the i newspaper and the Telegraph. Watch the webinar.

July: 60 people joined us for our first ever online annual Operation Noah Supporters’ Day. We heard from David Pickering, Bokani Tshidzu and James Anthony. Listen back to keynote speeches and read the Chair’s Report from our AGM. The Methodist Conference supported a motion on fossil fuel divestment, referring a decision to Methodist Council in October.August: More than 70 prominent civil society leaders – including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams – signed a letter countering the Pensions Minister Guy Opperman’s continued invested in fossil fuel companies. Read more.
September: Climate Sunday launched. Climate Sunday was originally proposed by Operation Noah and is now supported by 20 organisations and run by CTBI. It asks churches to hold a climate-themed service in the lead-up to COP26 next year, make a commitment to take action to reduce their own greenhouse gases, and ask politicians and world leaders to tackle the climate emergency. Get involved.
October: During September and October, Operation Noah was involved in organising two webinars designed to help Catholic institutions both divest from fossil fuels and make investments with positive environmental and social impacts. Speakers included Lord Deben and Fr Augusto Zampini. They were each attended by more than 250 people. Watch them again here and here. The Methodist Council voted for a resolution on fossil fuel divestment.

November: 47 faith institutions from 21 countries, including the UK, announced their divestment from fossil fuels. In the UK, Catholic religious orders, United Reformed Church Synods and local Anglican and Methodist Churches joined the announcement.
December: The Scottish Episcopal Church made a decision to go net zero by 2030, following a similar decision by the Church of Scotland in October. The decision to is especially significant as Glasgow prepares to host the UN climate talks, COP26, in November 2021.

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