The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) just announced that it will exclude fossil fuel companies from its investments and calls on its member churches with 72 million members to do likewise.
It also asks its member churches “not to invest in fossil fuels and to support energy efficiency and renewable energy companies, and to encourage their institutions and individual members to do likewise.”
The LWF is the latest of dozens of religious institutions that have committed to divest from coal, oil and gas companies or endorsed the effort, including the World Council of Churches representing half a billion Christians in 150 countries.
The announcement comes just days after Pope Francis’ moral call to action on climate change in his encyclical on the environment.
Ellie Roberts, UK church divestment campaigner at Christian charity Operation Noah comments:
“With this commitment, the Lutheran World Federation has joined hundreds of fossil free churches worldwide, acting prophetically in the face of the climate crisis by moving their money away from fossil fuels. Representing 72 million Christians in 98 countries – and coming as Pope Francis calls on the world to unite in tackling climate change – we hope this decision will inspire other churches to divest as a matter of faith.”
Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental group, says:
“For decades, LWF has empowered the world’s most vulnerable communities to fight poverty and to work for better lives. In recent years, they’ve seen that climate change, and its droughts, heat, and destructive weather cycles, erases the progress made. They’ve decided that it’s not right to profit from the industry that’s behind climate change, and we salute that choice.”
More details in the LWF press release.