Geneva/Nairobi/New York, May 09, 2022 – The World Council of Churches (WCC), the United Nations Environment Programme, the Muslim Council of Elders and the Council of Rabbis of New York have signed a historic joint appeal, “Climate Responsible Finance – A moral imperative and responsibility to all children and the living.” world”.
“Let’s come together and influence how money is invested in response to the existential threat of climate change,” WCC acting general secretary Professor Ioan Sauca said in launching the appeal. “Family money, church money, business money, nation money. We need everyone to take this step for a sustainable future for our children. “
The conclusions of the latest IPCC report published on April 04, 2022 dramatize the critical urgency of this challenge. Therefore, the joint call calls on financial service providers to take urgent and effective action to move away from fossil fuel financing and invest in renewable energy and the search for climate solutions.
“Accordingly, we, the leaders of the undersigned organizations, affirm our commitment to engage with the financial institutions through which we conduct our banking, invest and seek insurance coverage, to ensure that our financial transactions are aligned on the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C,” the appeal read. “We will review our pension, banking, insurance and other financial services to ensure evidence-based accountability in this regard, as a moral imperative and responsibility to all children and the living world.”
The call asks financial service providers to demand “oil and gas companies to stop all new development or expansion projects…including in particular all such projects in the Arctic region” and to join “the Net Zero Asset Owner, Banking and/or insurance alliances, depending on the type of financial institution concerned, if they are not already part of it.
The text concludes by inviting “all members of our constituencies and all our partners to do the same, so that together we can move from words to effective action, and be the change we call for”.
UN Secretary General António Guterres welcomed the initiative. “For too long, the financial services industry has enabled the world’s reliance on fossil fuels,” he said. “Now is the time for financial service providers to accelerate the shift to renewable energy. They have the power and the responsibility,” said António Guterres. “The scientific and moral imperative is clear: there must be no new investment in fossil fuel expansion, including production, infrastructure and exploration.”
António Guterres added: “This year, all private financiers must stop financing the entire coal sector, from mining to power generation, and actively redirect financing towards renewable energy. Individuals, communities and faith-based organizations have the influence to make this transition. this important faith-based initiative.
All partners, organizations and citizens who care about children are invited to endorse the statement by writing to churchforchildren[at]wcc-coe.org and publicize the resources shared there. A webinar will be held on May 20 at 3:00 p.m. CEST to build capacity around the actions proposed in the declaration.
Register for the webinar
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the United Nations Environment Program
The United Nations Environment Program is the leading global voice on environmental issues. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in environmental protection by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
For more information please contact:
Keisha Rukikaire mailto:[email protected], Information and Media Officer, United Nations Environment Program