March 2023

Dear Friends,

Last week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it clear that we can have no new fossil fuel developments if we hope to limit global heating to safe levels; scientists say we can’t even afford to burn all the fossil fuels from existing developments.

And yet 20 of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies plan to spend nearly $1 trillion on new oil and gas by 2030. Meanwhile, the UK Government wrongly continues to insist that new North Sea oil and gas developments will be necessary to ensure our so-called ‘energy security’.

But as we know, our energy security depends on how quickly we can replace destructive fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy. And we’ve been encouraged by how Churches are responding to this by taking their money out of fossil fuels and investing in climate solutions.

In fact, we are delighted to announce that, as we near the end of our ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ campaign, more than half of all Church of England dioceses have now made a divestment commitment, and nearly half of Catholic dioceses in England and Wales have done the same!

As fossil fuel companies continue to overheat the planet and underinvest in renewables, Churches are increasingly speaking with one voice and declaring no faith in fossil fuels.

The Operation Noah Team


Over half of all CofE dioceses have now made a divestment commitment

Operation Noah is delighted to announce that 22 of 42 Church of England dioceses have now made a full commitment to divest from fossil fuels. The Diocese of Canterbury, Diocese of Coventry, Diocese of Ely and Diocese of Hereford have recently confirmed that they will divest from fossil fuel companies by the end of December 2023 (Hereford) or have previously divested and will not be reinvesting in fossil fuels in future (Canterbury, Coventry and Ely). Read more.


Webinar recap: renewing Church land for people, nature and climate

Last month, our Bright Now Campaign Officer Sharon Hall joined Margot Hodson from the John Ray Initiative (JRI) and Alan Radbourne from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology for an online event hosted by Hazelnut Community Farm, exploring the topic of renewing Church land for people, nature and climate. Read a recap of the event or watch the full webinar here.


On the Operation Noah blog

Operation Noah supporting 21 April ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage’

At Operation Noah, we are motivated by our faith, informed by the latest science and inspired by hope. It is for all these reasons that we, along with other Christian charities – including Tearfund, Christian Aid, CAFOD and Young Christian Climate Network – are supporting the ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage’ which will take place in London on Friday 21 April. On 21 April, we will gather outside St John’s Church, Waterloo from 11am to pray and sing; after the 12 Noon service, we will walk to Parliament and join The Big One protest, which will be family-friendly and is aiming to attract 100,000 people. Read more.


Catch up on our entire ‘40 Days, 40 Dioceses’ campaign by visiting our daily blog

Every day in Lent, we’ve been highlighting one of the 40 Church of England or Catholic dioceses in England and Wales that, at the beginning of 2023, had yet to make a full divestment commitment. Check out our daily blog, which includes videos from divestment campaigners, facts about the devastating impact of fossil fuels and written prayers. Visit the blog here.


Resources, news, events and opportunities

Solar panels are to be fitted to the roof of York Minster in a bid to tackle rising energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. Plans to install 199 solar panels on the roof of the South Quire Aisle were approved by City of York Council and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission and are expected to generate 75,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of power per year. Read more.

An agreement has been reached to protect the world’s oceans. The High Seas Treaty places 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030. A 1982 agreement on ocean protection established an area called the high seas – international waters where all countries can fish, ship and do research – but only 1.2% of these waters are currently protected. Read more.

UK Government cabinet ministers have been warned by senior civil servants that they face court action because of their catastrophic failure to develop policies for tackling climate change, according to leaked documents obtained by The Observer. Read more.

Net Zero In My Neighbourhood. Organised by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Methodist Church of Great Britain and United Reformed Church, this campaign has resources to help churches hold local councils accountable for climate action, from insulating homes to providing green spaces and reducing air pollution. Read more.

More than 1,000 ‘super-emitter’ sites gushed the potent greenhouse gas methane into the global atmosphere in 2022, with the worst single leak spewing pollution at a rate equivalent to 67 million running cars. The good news is that fast action to stop these leaks would dramatically slow global heating, as methane is short-lived in the atmosphere. Read more.

According to the latest IPCC report, global heating is more likely than not to reach 1.5°C, even under a very low greenhouse gas scenario. The report shows that projected emissions of CO2 from existing fossil fuel infrastructure would bust the remaining carbon budget – the amount of CO2 that can still be safely emitted – for staying under 1.5°C. Read more.


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