Australians send letter to Pope over fossil fuel

Fossil fuel campaign

Religious groups have urged Pope Francis to back a campaign to encourage millions of people, organisations and investors to pull their money out of the fossil fuel industry, reports The Guardian Australia.

Multi-faith groups in Australia and North America have sent a letter to the pope saying it is 'immoral' to profit from fossil fuels. The letter, shown exclusively to The Guardian, says 80% of global fossil fuel reserves must 'stay in the ground' if dangerous climate change is to be avoided.

'We urge you, as a person held in high esteem by many millions around the world, to speak clearly about the place of divestment from fossil fuels as one significant means to avert the worst of climate disruption,' the letter says.

'You could have a desperately needed influence on the direction humanity takes from here. We urge you to use this influence.'

The plea to the Vatican follows a call from archbishop Desmond Tutu for an anti-apartheid style boycott of the fossil fuel industry. Writing in the Guardian last week he said: 'People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.'

The letter sent to the pope's offices in February is co-signed by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and US-based GreenFaith.

Thea Ormerod, chair of ARRCC and a practising Catholic, said: 'If the extracting and burning continues, the world's children and grandchildren may have little or no chance of any kind of decent life on this planet, particularly those who live in the global south.'

FULL STORY Pope Francis urged to back fossil fuel divestment campaign (The Guardian Australia)

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