Faith leaders sign joint appeal on finance and environment


The World Council of Churches (WCC), the Muslim Council of Elders and the Council of Rabbis of New York, together with the United Nations Environment Program, have signed a historic joint appeal: “Climate Responsible Finance – An Imperative morality and a responsibility towards all children and the living world”.

“Let’s come together and influence the way money is invested in response to the existential threat of climate change,” said WCC Acting General Secretary Professor Ioan Sauca when launching the call. “Family money, church money, business money, nation money. We need everyone to take this step for a sustainable future for our children. “

The conclusions of the latest IPCC report published on April 4 show the crucial urgency of this challenge. Therefore, the joint call calls on financial service providers to take urgent and effective action to move away from fossil fuel financing and invest in renewable energy and the search for climate solutions.

“Accordingly, we, the leaders of the undersigned organizations, affirm our commitment to engage with the financial institutions through which we conduct our banking, invest and seek insurance coverage, to ensure that our financial transactions are aligned on the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, the appeal read. “We will review our pension, banking, insurance and other financial services to ensure evidence-based accountability in this regard, as a moral imperative and responsibility to all children and the living world.”

The call calls on financial service providers to demand “oil and gas companies to halt all new development or expansion projects…including in particular all such projects in the Arctic region” and to join “the Net Zero Asset Owner, Banking and/or insurance alliances, depending on the type of financial institution concerned, if they are not already part of it.

The text concludes by inviting “all members of our constituencies and all our partners to do the same, so that together we can move from words to effective action, and be the change we call for”.

UN Secretary General António Guterres welcomed the initiative. “For too long, the financial services industry has enabled the world’s reliance on fossil fuels,” he said. “Now is the time for financial service providers to accelerate the shift to renewable energy. They have the power – and the responsibility,” said António Guterres. “The scientific and moral imperative is clear: there must be no new investment in fossil fuel expansion, including production, infrastructure and exploration.”

António Guterres added: “This year, all private financiers must stop financing the entire coal sector, from mining to power generation, and actively redirect financing towards renewable energy. Individuals, communities and faith-based organizations have the influence to make this transition. this important faith-based initiative.

All partners, organizations and citizens who care about children are invited to endorse the statement by writing to [email protected] and publicize the resources shared there. A webinar will be held on May 20 at 3:00 p.m. CEST to build capacity around the actions proposed in the declaration.


Read the full statement:

Register for the webinar HERE

WCC Publication: Cooler Earth – Superior benefits. Actions of those who care about children, climate and finances

Keywords: Environment, COE, Finance, Dr. Ioan Sauca, IPCC Report, Muslim Council of Elders, NY Board of Rabbis

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