Archive for the ‘Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church’ Tag

Religious leaders should divest from fossil fuels, says UN climate chief

Weathercock near Waupoos, Ontario

Weathercock near Waupoos, Ontario

UN climate chief urges faith groups to tell followers not to invest in fossil fuel companies

Published inthe, Wednesday 7 May 2014 13.23 BST

Religious leaders should pull their money out of investments in fossil fuel companies and encourage their followers to do the same, according to the UN’s climate chief.

Christiana Figueres, who is speaking at St Pauls Cathedral on Wednesday night, urges faith groups to “find their voice” and “set their moral compass” on climate change, in an article published in the Guardian.

Students and other groups have been campaigning in the US and Europe to encourage universities, local authorities and investors to divest from fossil fuel interests. On Monday, Stanford University became the latest high profile institution to do so, saying it would no longer make investments of its $18bn (£11bn) endowment fund in coal mining companies.

Politicians, businesses and civil society are also trying to build momentum for an international deal on climate change ahead of a key meeting of nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, is convening a meeting of world leaders in New York in September to push for progress towards the deal.

“There are a myriad of ways in which churches and mosques to synagogues and temples can assist towards an ambitious climate agreement,” said Figueres, citing the fossil fuel divestment campaign as a way they could assist efforts to reach a climate deal.

She highlights the Synod of the Church of England, which in February voted to review its investment policy on fossil fuels.

While the CoE is not yet looking at the sort of divestment from fossil fuel companies that the United Church of Christ has done in the US, its ethical investment advisory group has established a subgroup to take expert advice on climate change and investment.

Figueres, who is executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, warns that climate change will make many of the issues that religious groups campaign on, such as tackling hunger in poorer countries, harder.

“It is time for faith groups and religious institutions to find their voice and set their moral compass on one of the great humanitarian issues of our time. Overcoming poverty, caring for the sick and the infirm, feeding the hungry and a whole range of other faith-based concerns will only get harder in a climate challenged world,” she said.

The divestment campaign was “gaining ground”, she said, echoing a report last year which said the campaign was growing faster than any previous divestment campaign, such as those against apartheid in South Africa and tobacco companies.


Trinity St.-Paul’s United Church in Toronto adopted a resolution on divestment from fossil fuels on February, 2014. Information at:

Climate justice – divestment

Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church Votes to Divest

from Fossil Fuel Companies

TORONTO, ON, 24 February 2014 :

The congregation of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church voted unanimously Sunday at its Annual General Meeting to lend its voice to the fast-growing divestment movement, and to ensure that its own funds are not invested in any of the world’s 200 largest fossil fuel companies. The vote confirms a long-standing commitment to climate justice, which has been a key priority of the congregation for the past decade.

Carbon tax needed

Carbon tax needed

Jeanne Moffat, a member and representative of the Climate Justice Group of Trinity St. Paul’s, sees the decision as deliberately aligning with Christianity’s core teachings of justice. “For too many years governments have not dealt decisively with the impending climate chaos, largely to the peril of low- income countries and low-lying regions of the world. Low-income countries are neither responsible for the heat-trapping gases that will cause more droughts and floods, nor do they have the resources to adapt. Not to act in the face of the realities of climate change is to violate our call to justice. We call upon all people of faith to join us in this movement.

The timing of the decision coincides with other churches’ and institutions’ decisions to stop profiting from the companies whose business model includes plundering the planet. The decision represents clear dissatisfaction with the inadequate climate policies of the world’s wealthiest countries.

We have been working on climate justice for well over a decade as individuals and as a congregation,” says Moffat, who proposed the motion on behalf of the Climate Justice Group. “We have been part of a range of campaigns to call for climate action at the scale and pace needed to avert climate catastrophe. We see this as a necessary, logical step in the mass movement away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy and energy efficiency. This movement is growing and growing fast. We invite our sibling congregations across Canada to support this movement away from the fossil fuels that threaten all of Creation.”

Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church is a congregation of the United Church of Canada. Trinity-St. Paul’s seeks to live the love, justice and freedom of Jesus Christ. Worship of God, nurture of one another, and the struggle to be faithful to God’s call lie at the centre of its community and its outreach.

The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada with over 3,000 congregations and other ministries across the country.

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For more information:

Contact: Jeanne Moffat, 416-654-7434