This article appeared in the New York Times and can be read in full here.
The movement to end investments in fossil fuel companies began with universities, but religious institutions are joining as well. Just this month, the Anglican Diocese of Perth, Australia, announced plans to divest itself of holdings in fossil fuels, and the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand said it would consider doing the same.
Michael Northcott, a professor of ethics at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity, who has urged the Church of England and other institutions to divest themselves of holdings in fossil fuels, said, “Churches in the main are not accustomed to standing apart from Western culture on big issues like where they put their money
The World Council of Churches, an umbrella group in Geneva, is one of the most significant religious bodies to divest so far, though it does not dictate the actions of its member churches. The Uniting Church in Australia, one of that country’s largest Christian denominations, has announced divestment plans, as has the Anglican Church in New Zealand. In the United States, the United Church of Christ said last year that it would move toward fossil-fuel divestment.