February 2023

Dear Friends,

On Ash Wednesday, we launched our ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ campaign, highlighting Church of England (CofE) and Catholic dioceses which at the start of 2023 had yet to make divestment commitments and encouraging them to divest this Lent. We were delighted when three dioceses on our list (London, Lichfield and Rochester) made divestment commitments just weeks – or in the case of Lichfield and Rochester, days – before we even formally launched our campaign!

It is now clear that staying invested in fossil fuel companies has not led to a fair and fast transition away from fossil fuels. Quite the opposite: as Global Witness and Oil Change International reported last year, 20 major oil and gas companies – including Exxon, Shell, BP and Total – are planning to spend $932 billion on new fossil fuel developments by 2030, all while underinvesting in renewables and making billions of pounds from other people’s pain.

But this Lent we can work to ensure that our Churches and dioceses stop investing in energy that causes climate breakdown, extorts the poor through high energy bills, and fuels conflict. We can invest in climate solutions instead. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, check out our daily posts during Lent and share them with friends and contacts. If you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, visit our website, where we are also sharing daily campaign updates. And if you live in a CofE or Catholic diocese that has yet to make a divestment commitment, contact your bishop or diocesean financial decision makers and tell them to divest this Lent.

You’re also invited to join us for an update on the ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ campaign, learning what the campaign has achieved so far and how you can still be involved, by joining us for a one-hour Zoom call on Tuesday 14 March at 5.30pm, which you can register for here.

The Operation Noah Team


Four dioceses, including the Diocese of London, divest from fossil fuel companies

The CofE dioceses of London, Lichfield and Rochester have all announced their divestment from fossil fuel companies in the last five weeks, while the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton announced its divestment today! In just two years, 18 CofE dioceses have divested from fossil fuel companies, up from zero. In the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, 10 of 22 dioceses have now made divestment commitments. Read more.


Rochester isn’t just divesting from fossil fuels – it’s investing in climate solutions

Last week, the Diocese of Rochester not only made a divestment commitment, it also announced that it would continue to invest in climate solutions such as solar and wind. Furthermore, the diocese said it would provide capital to early-stage technology companies that support a sustainable transition and announced a goal to allocate around 15% of its funds to positive impact investments. Read more about Church investment in climate solutions here.


Motion calls on CofE National Investing Bodies to accelerate divestment, increase investment in climate solutions

The Chair of the Church of England General Synod Environment Group, Cathy Rhodes, has put forward a Private Member’s Motion to General Synod, which calls on the Church of England’s National Investing Bodies to divest by the end of 2023 from any oil and gas companies that are planning to explore for and/or develop new fossil fuels and to scale up investment in climate solutions to at least 10% of assets under management by 2030.

The motion will be considered for debate at CofE General Synod if it receives more than 100 signatures from General Synod members. If you know any General Synod members, please encourage them to sign the motion by completing the form on this website.


On the Operation Noah blog

Christians call on dioceses to divest from fossil fuels as part of Operation Noah’s ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ Lent campaign

As fossil fuel companies report record profits while underinvesting in renewables and exploring for new oil and gas, UK Christians are calling on Church of England and Catholic dioceses yet to make a fossil fuel divestment commitment to divest this Lent.

Throughout Lent, Operation Noah is featuring each of the 40 dioceses that at the start of 2023 had yet to make a divestment commitment. Written prayers, video messages and facts about the devastating impacts of fossil fuels will be shared. Christians will also be invited to write to their bishop, get their local church to divest, and reach out to diocesan financial decision makers to discuss divestment. Read more.


Anglican Communion calls for an end to fossil fuel expansion

The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) – an advisory body that coordinates action and recommends policy across the 85 million-member Anglican Communion – adopted a resolution earlier this month calling for a moratorium on new fossil fuel developments and encouraging Church leaders to support the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Read more.


Follow our ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ divestment campaign by visiting our daily blog

You can find all of the information we’re sharing as part of our ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ campaign by visiting our daily blog. Messages from campaigners calling on dioceses to divest, information about the devastating impacts of fossil fuels, updates on which dioceses have and haven’t divested, and much more, will be shared over the course of the campaign. Visit the blog.


Resources, news, events and opportunities

Save the Date: Operation Noah will hold a prayer service with other Christian charities on Friday 21 April at 12pm at St John’s Church, Waterloo. The service will coincide with the start of ‘The Big One’, a four-day effort to get 100,000 people to stand outside the Houses of Parliament in Central London, peacefully calling for a fair and fast transition away from fossil fuels. We will share more details on the service in the weeks to come. Read more.

Operation Noah Trustee Cameron Conant gave an interview to UCB News last week about our ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ divestment campaign, as well as about the Anglican Communion’s recent call for a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects. Listen here.

1.6 million UK children are living in cold, damp or mouldy homes, according to new research from Citizens Advice. Operation Noah is a supporter of the Warm This Winter campaign, which is calling on the UK Government to offer more support to vulnerable people for their fuel costs and to improve the UK’s poorly insulated housing stock. Read more.

Labour has proposed making clean air a human right. The announcement by the shadow justice secretary came just days after the mother of Ella Kissi-Debrah – the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death – marked a decade since her passing. Read more.

The 11 directors of Shell are being personally sued for failing to properly prepare the company for Net Zero. Claimants say Shell’s plan is inadequate to meet climate targets, puts the company at risk and that directors bear responsibility. In 2021, the Church of England’s Pensions Board, which still owns shares in Shell, voted to approve Shell’s Energy Transition Plan which calls for a 20% increase in gas extraction. Read more.

The UK Government’s green heating scheme, which offers households £5,000 to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps, has been heavily criticised in a House of Lords’ report. The Lords warned that take-up of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is so low that the national target for green heating is very unlikely to be met, with many people in the UK not even knowing what a heat pump is, let alone how to access the grant. Read more.

Operation Noah’s Chair of Trustees, Revd Dr Darrell Hannah, has signed a letter calling on Secretaries of State Michael Gove and Grant Shapps to lift the de facto ban on onshore wind turbines in England. The letter, organised by campaigner and TV presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, says, ‘Responsibly developed onshore wind is one of the cheapest, cleanest and most nature-friendly forms of energy available, and has the power to address climate change and the existential threat it poses to our natural world.’


Please support the work of Operation Noah

Our campaigns and activities rely on donations from individuals and organisations, so please consider giving a one-off or regular donation.


You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for updates on the Operation Noah or Bright Now websites, opted to receive updates when registering for a webinar run by Operation Noah or one of our partners, or asked for updates when you signed our Fossil Free petition. If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, please click the Unsubscribe button below.

Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company