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Environment & Energy

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Wed Nov 29, 2023, 09:45 AM Nov 29

Defying Pope's calls for climate action, US Catholic bishops cling to fossil fuels [View all]

Source: Reuters

Defying Pope's calls for climate action, US Catholic bishops cling to fossil fuels

By Richard Valdmanis
November 29, 20238:01 AM ESTUpdated 38 min ago

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Hundreds of Catholic institutions around the globe have announced plans to divest their finances of oil, gas and coal to help fight climate change since Pope Francis published his landmark encyclical on environmental stewardship in 2015 urging a break with fossil fuels.

But in the United States, the world's top oil and gas producer and where about a quarter of the population is Catholic, not a single diocese has announced it has let go of its fossil fuel assets.

U.S. dioceses hold millions of dollars of stock in fossil fuel companies through portfolios intended to fund church operations and pay clergy salaries, according to a Reuters review of financial statements. And at least a dozen are also leasing land to drillers, according to land records.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), an assembly of the hierarchy of U.S. Catholic Church that sets policy guidance, told Reuters that its guidance on socially responsible investing was updated in 2021 to account for the pope's encyclical but confirmed that it does not require divestment from fossil fuels.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/defying-popes-calls-climate-action-us-catholic-bishops-cling-fossil-fuels-2023-11-29/

Alternate no-paywall link: https://news.yahoo.com/defying-popes-calls-climate-action-061057489.html

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