More than 70 religious organizations to stop investing in fossil fuels

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More than 70 religious institutions from 10 countries will stop investing in fossil fuels. It’s no small monetary value: It’s $4.1 billion.

The executive director of the Laudato si’ Movement, Tomás Insua, says it is the biggest divestment by religious organizations in history. And he hopes it makes an impact.

Executive Director, Laudato si’ Movement
“The oil companies themselves, in their annual reports—for example, Shell, some time ago, said it was concerned because this divestment campaign was growing so much that they were losing access to capital. For example, a company like Total, the French oil company, is now a huge oil line, really horrible, in Tanzania and Uganda, and it’s struggling to finance those big projects.”

Tomás Insua explains that the Laudato si’ encyclical has created a before and after in Catholic circles. He says the Pope’s document has raised awareness about the need to stop the climate crisis.

Insua explains that religious institutions are leading the charge to divest from fossil fuel companies. He says they make up 35 percent of all institutions joining what he considers a global trend.

Executive Director, Laudato si’ Movement
“The truth is that it does arrive a little late. But better late than never. So although all of this should have happened several years ago, it is still very welcome and good news.”

Besides announcing that they will stop investing in fossil fuels, more than 100,000 people and some 425 Catholic organizations have signed the petition, “Healthy Planet, Healthy People,” spearheaded by COP26 and COP15 leaders. The petition is supported by the Laudato si’ Movement, among other organizations, who demand immediate concrete measures and a global plan of action from all government leaders.