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NCVO launches climate campaign urging charity divestment from fossil fuels


The NCVO’s new #FuellingPositiveChange campaign is described as a ‘rallying cry for our sector to take collective action on one of the biggest challenges we face’.

It launches officially today with the objective of removing charity money from fossil fuels and encouraging charities to join in sending the message that fossil fuels are unsustainable and damaging for people and places. It urges charities to sign up to its pledge and to divest from fossil fuels by moving investments away from businesses involved in their extraction, production, transportation, refining and marketing. The campaign also highlights the reputational and financial risks of investing in fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are the largest contributor to climate change, accounting for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid, Civic Power Fund, Friends of the Earth EWNI, Pilotlight, Quakers, Save the Children, and Sense International have all signed up to the campaign. The NCVO itself divested from direct fossil fuels earlier this year.

Charities that do not have investments directly or indirectly in fossil fuels are also urged to sign up and to pledge not to make any such investments in the future.

Guidance and support on offer

NCVO will provide guidance, key terms and templates to help charities understand the purpose of divestment and the divestment process and a communications pack with information, templates and graphics to charities promote their support for the campaign.

This autumn will also see NCVO host a series of events to explore the role of charities in tackling climate change and to help charities work out what they could do to divest from fossil fuels.

Alex Farrow, Director of influencing and engagement at NCVO, said:

“The climate emergency is an urgent and serious threat to all of us. So far charities have played a leading role in tackling this crisis – from campaigning for more environmental protection to supporting communities displaced by floods and wildfires.


“But we’ve got to do more – and we can. We can use the combined power of our investments to make a real difference now.


“Whatever our charitable objectives, the impacts of climate change will make everything harder. This campaign is a rallying cry for our sector to take collective action on one of the biggest challenges we face. Together, we can fuel positive change instead.”

Richard Kramer, Chief Executive of Sense, commented:

“Sense believes that no charity can exist in a vacuum. The way we behave has real-life consequences on the environment both negative and positive. And if we don’t take this into account, and walk the talk, we aren’t getting the full picture.


“Sense’s vision is to be carbon neutral by 2040. We support NCVO’s campaign as sustainability is also about making better and more suitable and ethical investment decisions that reflect the objectives of our charity and is about committing to sustainable practices, challenging the status quo and pushing for change.


“Aside from the tangible benefits of reducing energy use and the commensurate cost in a very volatile market, taking an ethical first approach across all our work has further benefits. Communicating our commitment to environmental sustainability is beneficial in terms of staff recruitment, particularly for younger people. We also know that donors and commissioners are asking questions regarding our ‘green’ and ethical credentials. The same way that we are applying these criteria to our supplier; commissioners, donors and supporters will want to apply the same selection criteria to our organisation.”

The campaign can be followed on LinkedIn and Twitter with the hashtag #FuellingPositiveChange.

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