As part of the Diocese of Newcastle’s ongoing pledge to tackle the climate emergency and become net-zero carbon by 2030, it has joined a growing list of dioceses which have announced divestment plans and committed their support to Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign.
The Christian charity is working with the Church to inspire action on the climate crisis and is calling on all UK churches to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean alternatives.
Revd Mark Nash-Williams, Bishop’s Adviser on the Environment for the Diocese of Newcastle, said: “We are very proud to have already divested from fossil fuels, and have now also pledged not to hold any investments in companies linked to the extraction of oil, gas and coal in future.
“As Christians, one of our fundamental priorities is to care for God’s creation and protect our planet from climate change which is sadly happening at a terrifying speed. Anything we can do right now to halt and potentially reverse this damage is a step in the right direction, but of course, we know more needs to be done.
“As well as committing to the Bright Now campaign, our Environment Working Group is enthusiastically working on a number of measures which will help in our journey to become net-zero carbon within the next eight years.”
The announcement comes after the Church of England’s General Synod approved new legislation to help churches meet carbon reduction targets, part of a wide-ranging approach to achieve the 2030 net-zero target set by Synod in February 2020.
Mark added: “Many churches in our diocese are working towards net-zero, with some having already achieved this. We hope our affiliation with Bright Now on a diocesan level will help to support our churches meet this ambitious – yet wholly necessary – target.”
Canon Simon Harper, Chair of the Newcastle Diocesan Board of Finance, said: “The Board of Finance is very pleased to have signed up to the Bright Now campaign following a request to do so from the Environmental Working Group. This reconfirms our commitment to our journey to becoming a net-zero carbon diocese.”
James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Director at Operation Noah, said: "It is wonderful news that the Diocese of Newcastle has confirmed its decision not to invest in companies linked to fossil fuel extraction.
“This is a hugely important step in challenging the fossil fuel industry to stop all new coal, oil and gas projects, when the International Energy Agency has stated clearly that there can be no new fossil fuel developments if we are to limit global heating to 1.5C.
“We hope this decision will inspire many other Church of England dioceses to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions."