David & Goliath

Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign

Churches need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions to demonstrate moral leadership on the climate crisis. Bright Here, Bright Now.

The Campaign

Between them, UK Churches have more than £21 billion of assets under management, which can make a significant impact in tackling the climate crisis.

Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign calls on Churches to accelerate the clean energy transition by divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in climate solutions.

It also aims to remove the social licence of fossil fuel companies to continue exploring for new fossil fuel reserves, when the International Energy Agency has said there can be no new oil, gas or coal projects if we are to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

By working with campaigners, advocating with Church investors and decision makers, collaborating with global partners, and organising events, the Bright Now campaign has made a huge impact in getting UK Churches to go fossil free.

awards

Bright Now campaigners at Greenbelt Festival. Photo credit: Josh Evans

We are delighted to be shortlisted for the David vs Goliath Award! This is tribute to the incredible support of Church divestment campaigners, who have ensured that UK Churches are divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in climate solutions, such as renewable energy. We hope the campaign will continue inspiring Churches to ensure a brighter, cleaner future for all.”

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Director

awards

Bright Now campaigners at Greenbelt Festival. Photo credit: Josh Evans

We are delighted to be shortlisted for the David vs Goliath Award! This is tribute to the incredible support of Church divestment campaigners, who have ensured that UK Churches are divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in climate solutions, such as renewable energy. We hope the campaign will continue inspiring Churches to ensure a brighter, cleaner future for all.”

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Director

The Change

Thanks to the amazing campaigning efforts of our supporters, more than 140 UK Churches and Christian organisations have announced their full divestment from fossil fuel companies, accounting for nearly 10% of the 1,500 divestment commitments that have been made globally.

In 2021, several UK Churches divested from fossil fuel companies, including the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales, and the Baptist Union.

Operation Noah has organised several global divestment announcements in partnership with Laudato Si’ Movement, Green Anglicans, World Council of Churches, and GreenFaith, which have received national and international media coverage.

Five days before COP26, 72 faith institutions (including 37 from the UK) with more than £3.1 billion of combined assets under management joined the largest-ever joint divestment announcement by faith institutions. Participating institutions included the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Presbyterian Church of Wales, 12 Catholic dioceses in the UK, two Church of England dioceses, and 18 Catholic institutions in Ukraine.

 

The Future

Given the climate, energy and cost of living crises, it is more urgent than ever to accelerate a fair and fast transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign will support campaigners in the Church of England, the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and the Scottish Episcopal Church who are calling for divestment. Pressure is growing on the Church of England to drop investments in oil and gas companies such as Shell, TotalEnergies, and ExxonMobil.

Across the UK, they are scaling up their work with Churches and faith institutions on investment in climate solutions, such as renewable energy. They are also working with partners to encourage the Church of England to improve its land management practices in response to the climate and biodiversity crises.

Who else was involved?

The Bright Now campaign was run by a small team, including James Buchanan and Bokani Tshidzu, working with Operation Noah’s Board of Trustees, especially Revd Dr Martin Poulsom.

They worked with the Methodist Zero Carbon Group, Eco-congregation Scotland, Christian Aid Scotland, and Friends of the Earth Scotland, on Church divestment campaigns in the UK.

Globally, they collaborated with Laudato Si’ Movement, Green Anglicans, GreenFaith, World Council of Churches, and the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative.

The Bishop of Oxford joins campaigners to hand in more than 6,000 petition signatures calling on the Church of England to divest. Photo credit: Operation Noah

Campaigners join vigil calling for the Church of England to divest from ExxonMobil. Photo credit: Ruth Jarman

Speakers at the COP26 event: Fossil fuel divestment, climate justice and a just transition for all. Photo credit: Val King

Graphic for the October 2021 global divestment announcement, designed by Bokani Tshidzu of Operation Noah.