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Austria: Bishops sign fossil fuel divestment statement

“The Church funds should not have any detrimental effect on climate. For this reason, the Austrian Bishops’ Conference has now decided to sign the divestment statement in the context of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and to comply with the ethical investment guidelines”. The decision was announced in a statement released at the end of the Plenary Assembly of the Austrian Bishops that ended yesterday, 21 March, at Reichenau an der Rax. The statement was posted on the website of the Bishops’ Conference today. The decision “effectively means that, over the next five years, the Church will divest its money from all companies promoting or producing fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)”, the statement reads. The decision will apply to “all Austrian dioceses, the Bishops’ Conference and all of its bodies”. “In order to ensure the implementation and interpretation of the ethical investment guidelines thus reinforced”, “a new standing committee will also be established as a new tool” to that end. The ethical investment guidelines (FinAnKo) were adopted by the Austrian Bishops in autumn 2017. They are based “on the criteria of ecumenical Christian ethics, justice, peace and integrity of creation” and suggest “prevention, encouragement, and change as the principles of ethical investment”.

 

 

 

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