The town of Assisi has just become the first municipality in Italy to divest, with Assisi’s mayor, Stefania Proietti, making this declaration in the presence of Italy’s prime minister. 

This decision by the municipality of Assisi comes alongside a historical divestment announcement made by a coalition of 40 Catholic institutions on five continents, and coordinated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

This announcement was scheduled for the symbolic date of 4th of October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, whose home holds great significance for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The Assisi group of divesting institutions includes: the Sacro Convento, a monastery complex and holy site that houses the remains of St. Francis, from whom Pope Francis took his name; the diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino and Assisi’s Seraphic Institute, a religious medical center that provides care for disabled children.

“We welcome the important decision by the Municipality of Assisi to engage in divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in renewable energy” said Riccardo Rossella, Coordinator of the #DivestItaly campaign for the Italian Climate Network.

More than ever we need moral leadership when it comes to a fossil free future, and hope that many other institutions in Italy and across the world will follow suit. 

In the words of Stefania Proietti, the Mayor of Assisi, “Divesting from fossil sources is also a gesture of Peace.”