Faith groups say #EndFossilFuels #FastFairForever

On 15 to 17 September 2023, historic mobilisations around the world saw people demanding a rapid, just, and equitable end to fossil fuels. This wave of global mobilisations coincided with the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Ambition Summit in New York City. The scale of this global action underscored the devastating impacts of recent record breaking heat, deadly floods, and increased extreme weather events in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The Faith for the Climate network was part of several inspiring and creative actions that showcased the voices and concerns of faith groups in the UK. Here are some of our highlights.

Lloyd’s of London letter hand-in (14 Sept)

Left to right: Hanuman Dass (Go Dharmic), Poppy Rickard (Green Christian), Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (Eco Judaism), Ann Howell (Unitarians), Canon Giles Goddard (Faith for the Climate), Dr Shanon Shah (Faith for the Climate), Oliver Robertson (Quakers in Britain) – pic by Nish Tailor

On the eve of #EndFossilFuels, Thursday 14 September, we helped organise an interfaith action led by the Quakers in the UK. We handed in a giant copy of a letter, which we originally sent to Lloyd’s of London in April, to which we still have not received any response.

Our message to Lloyd’s is that it must #StopEACOP, and adopt climate policies in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

We asked them to listen, and respond to the letter we sent in April, where we said: “Those who offer financial backing and social legitimacy to new fossil fuel projects now have an urgent moral responsibility to change course. We believe this duty extends to all sectors and all parts of society.” 

If you share our concern that the insurance industry should stop facilitating climate vandalism, by enabling fossil fuel projects (and especially #EACOP) to go ahead, please share using the #StopEACOP hashtag on your social media.

 Insurers like Lloyd’s have a chance to put our whole world on a safer trajectory by showing leadership now.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and FFTC’s Chair, Canon Giles Goddard, speaking with a member of Lloyd’s staff – pic by Shanon Shah.

Blue Plaques for the Architects of the Climate Catastrophe (15 Sept)

On Friday 15 September, we joined with CAFOD and others to present a Blue Plaque award to Shell and BP as “architects of the climate disaster”. Liam Finn, Campaigns Manager at CAFOD (pic above, with Shanon), said: “This is a reminder to Shell and BP of how they will be viewed by history. Fossil fuel companies have known for decades that burning fossil fuels is burning the earth, yet are continuing to profit from the destruction of our climate. While these companies are making record profits, communities around the world who have done the least to contribute to the climate crisis are paying the price.” Watch the video below for more from Liam and the blue plaque action.

Dr Shanon Shah, Director of Faith for the Climate (pic below), said: “This is a call for integrity in actions and intentions from Shell and BP. History will judge those who denied and suppressed knowledge about their role in causing the climate crisis, and for lying about their lack of urgent and meaningful action in the present and future, including these companies. Shell and BP owe this to those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis but are suffering its worst impacts overwhelmingly because of the fossil fuel industry.”

Pic credit: Faith for the Climate

International bodies and individuals such as the International Energy Agency, the UN Secretary General and Pope Francis have warned that new fossil fuel projects are completely incompatible with efforts to keep global temperature rises below the crucial 1.5C level. And faith communities, along with other civil society groups, are lending their voices to this most urgent of calls.

Manx support for the Global Day of Action (16 Sept)

On the Isle of Man, our Communications Officer Cat Jenkins joined with various supporters and green groups at the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival – an annual event celebrating local and ethically produced food. Here’s a small selection of those who came to find out more and lend their support to #EndFossilFuels #FastFairForever. They joined people all over the world to demand a transition to a world of clean energy and justice for all.

L-R, top row Breeshey, Cat, Elly; bottom row George, Lizzy and Lilly, Phil. Pic – Cat Jenkins