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Church teaching leads Catholic entities to divest from fossil fuels

Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic Church’s worldwide network of humanitarian aid agencies, three German banks and more than 30 other Catholic institutions are planning to divest at least part of their financial portfolios from the fossil fuel industry.

The divestment announcement by the Global Catholic Climate Movement on 22nd April, Earth Day, is part of a continuing campaign to convince Catholic entities to move investments to renewable energy enterprises.

Divestment from the fossil fuel industry is crucial to addressing climate change and upholding the commitments to reduce carbon emissions set in the 2015 Paris climate accord, Tomas Insua, GCCM executive director, told Catholic News Service.

“This announcement is the result of many months of hard work. Our team has been working pretty hard raising awareness. I think there is so little understanding about the fossil fuel industry being at the core of the environmental crisis,” he said.

The divestment campaign also falls in line with the message of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home, Insua explained.

Picture: A wind turbine turns in front of a fossil fuel power plant in Charlestown, Mass., in this 2013 file photo. Catholic institutions are planning to divest part of their financial portfolios from the fossil fuel industry because of its impact on climate change. (CNS photo/Brian Snyder, Reuters).