[Press release]

Johannesburg, 25 September 2015 -– 350Africa.org welcomes the move by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa to explore withdrawing its investments from companies which exploit fossil fuels.

The Church has acknowledged in their resolution that the burning of fossil fuels is leading to climate change with devastating effects on the most vulnerable people around the world. The Anglican churches in Britain, New Zealand and the United States have already divested their holdings from fossil fuel companies.

“For all of us who see climate action as a moral imperative, this move by respected leaders in our region is not only heartening but encouraging for young climate activists. It is now very clear that if it is wrong to wreck the planet than it is most definitely wrong to profit from that wreckage” said Khomotso Ntuli, 350.org South African Youth and Field Organiser.

Since the divestment campaign movement began, dozens of religious institutions have joined the effort [1], including the World Council of Churches representing half a billion Christians in 150 countries. In August, Islamic leaders endorsed divestment and called for a rapid phase out of fossil fuels in a declaration on climate change.

‘’The climate change crisis is one of the biggest challenges of our time resulting in an increase in devastating floods, drought and rising temperatures, which are hitting Africa hard. The time for action is now and the divestment movement gives each one of us an opportunity to make a difference.” continued Ntuli.

Ntuli concluded ‘’350Africa.org is calling on banks, in particular Nedbank, to disclose exactly how much they invest in coal, oil and gas and to commit to stop funding future fossil fuel projects. The Anglican Church is paving the way for the divestment movement in our country and our region and we hope that the banks can follow their lead.’’

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information on the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s resolution, please visit: http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2015/09/anglican-church-of-southern-africa-explores-fossil-fuel-disinvestment.aspx

[1] Faith divestment commitments to date:

Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Australia

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Australia

Anglican Diocese of Perth, Australia

Anglican National Super, Australia

Brighthelm Church, Brighton, UK

Church of Sweden

Colorado Ratnashri Sangha, USA

Earthsong, Australia

Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, USA

Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, MA, USA

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oregon, OR, USA

First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge, MA, USA

First Presbyterian of Palo Alto, CA, USA

First Religious Society of Newburyport, MA, USA

First Unitarian Church of Pittsfield, ME, USA

First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, UT, USA

First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, ON, Canada

First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, WI, USA

Franciscan Sisters of Mary, MO, USA

Friends Fiduciary Corporation, USA

Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, NY, USA

Maine Council of Churches, ME, USA

Melbourne Unitarian Church, Australia

Portsmouth South Church Unitarian Universalist, NH, USA

Presentation Sisters, Queensland, Australia

Quakers in Britain, UK

Quakers Religious Society of Friends, Australia

Quaker Community Friends, OH, USA

Society for Community Work, CA, USA

The United Methodist Church, USA

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, VA, USA

Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, Toronto, ON, Canada

Union Theological Seminary, NY, USA

Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence, MA, USA

Unitarian Universalist Area Church at First Parish in Sherborn, MA, USA

Unitarian Universalist Association, USA

Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA, USA

United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland, UK

Uniting Church in Australia

Uniting Church of ACT & NSW, Australia

United Church of Christ, MA, USA

United Church of Christ, MN, USA

Universalist Congregation of South County, RI, USA

UU Fellowship of Corvallis, OR, USA

World Council of Churches

[2] For a full list of divestment commitments, see http://gofossilfree.org/commitments