Catholic Church makes Record Divestment from Fossil Fuels
The Catholic church has long been a large investor in the capital markets, it is deemed to be one of the wealthiest institutions in the world. But now over 40 Catholic organisations are divesting their assets away from fossil fuels, the amount of divestment has not been disclosed but This follows on from the previous record divestment of church institutions in May of this year, bringing the total to 67 Catholic entities that have divested from fossil fuel corporations, according to the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg when you take into consideration the total divestment of $5.5tn led by social conscious investors across the globe who are making a conscious decision to move away from Fossil fuel companies as part of their investment strategy.
A spokesman for the €4.5bn German Church bank and Catholic relief organisation Caritas said that it was committing to divest from coal, tar sands and shale oil.
The catholic church is a very old institution and the Vatican bank itself holds over $10 to $15 billion worth of assets, and this is only the bank located in the Vatican in Rome, this does not include the global catholic church organisations worldwide. This is a movement that is gathering pace in recent years, as more and more institutions come under pressure to make social and ethical decisions about where their assets are invested and how these investments can have either a positive social and environmental benefit for all of us.
There has been a real push for divestment. Faith-based organizations represent around 20 percent of the total divestment reached to date.
This is all about raising awareness and putting pressure on organisations who would be publically embarrassed if it were known the extent of their investments in dirty fuel sources like fossil fuels. It is not just catholic organisations, but also universities where young people are really getting behind the idea of a cleaner future. Students also make their opinions felt by taking jobs in clean tech companies instead of fossil fuel companies. This is a trend that will continue until only the very few are left with fossil fuel investments in their portfolios.
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