The following statement was read out at an action designed to encourage the Church of England to divest from fossil fuels. The action took place at Lambeth Palace on Sunday 17th October.
As part of this earthly body of Christ, and in light of the recent IPCC report that says we must act now if we are to have any hope of restricting global heating to 1.5 or 2 degrees, we demand that the Church of England completes its divestment from fossil fuels by the end of this year and announces this to the world well before the beginning of the COPP 26 talks in November. This will be a sign that, as Christians, we stand, not with big business, but with the poor, the marginalised and those that will suffer most from increasing climate change. The church must overturn their own money lenders tables, and act radically, as Jesus did in the temple and declare NO MORE!
In his joint statement with Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Welby speaks of meaningful sacrifices. He says: ‘We call on everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to endeavour to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.
It is our firm conviction that large fossil fuel corporations are incapable of making ‘meaningful sacrifices’, and it is they and political parties across the globe who are heavily influenced, often funded by then, who hold the future of our planet in the balance. We therefore urge the Archbishop to use his influence to announce the immediate divestment from fossil fuels. We also call upon him to urge world leaders meeting at COP26 in two weeks’ time to take bold, unpopular decisions and actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.