‘Fossil fuels? I’ll have nun of that’ say Catholic groups

Forty Catholic institutions from across the world have divested from fossil fuels this week. The move marks the biggest single divestment made by religious institutions, including banks, universities and even the Italian […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Forty Catholic institutions from across the world have divested from fossil fuels this week.

The move marks the biggest single divestment made by religious institutions, including banks, universities and even the Italian town where Saint Francis of Assisi was born.

The sum of money involved has not been disclosed but the organisations involved suggest the move is the result of both moral and financial concerns.

It follows Pope Francis’ statement in 2015 that mankind’s concern for the natural world is no longer optional.

Institutions involved in the divestment include Germany’s Bank for the Church and Caritas, Oikocredit, one of the world’s largest private micro-financiers, the Episcopal Conference of Belgium and the Newman University in the UK.

Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former Climate Change Chief, said: “We’ll see more leaders like these 40 Catholic institutions commit, because while this decision makes smart financial sense, acting collectively to deliver a better future for everybody is also our moral imperative.”