Divestment means getting rid of investments in the fossil fuel industry. Quakers in Britain were the first church in Britain to divest our centrally held money from fossil fuels.

Local and area meetings are now doing the same. Quaker Peace & Social Witness supports meetings to divest.

"Investing in companies who are engaged in fossil fuel extraction is incompatible with Quakers' commitment to become a low-carbon community."

Meeting for Sufferings, 2013

Get involved


    A guide to divesting from fossil fuels

    This step-by-step guide provides advice for meetings in divesting from fossil fuels.

    Why divest?

    "Scientists are telling us that eighty per cent of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to prevent catastrophic temperature rises. The business plan of the fossil fuel industry is clearly incompatible with a liveable planet."

    Chayley Collis, Huddersfield Quakers

    In 2011, Quakers in Britain committed to becoming a low-carbon, sustainable community. Our commitment to sustainability and climate justice means we can't continue to invest in and profit from fossil fuels. Read more about Britain Yearly Meeting's decision to divest in this briefing: Divestment from fossil fuels (PDF).

    "May we look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions."

    John Woolman

    The act of divestment fits into a long history of Quakers concern about the ethical use of money.

    Public divestment is a symbolic act. It helps to question the morality of the fossil fuel industry, and challenge its power. Each act of divestment bolsters the wider Fossil Free movement which is gaining momentum across many countries.

    “We wish to congratulate the Quakers on taking leadership on this vital issue."

    Operation Noah

    Divestment also enables ethical re-investment. We can invest our money in the parts of the economy that we want to nurture. We can support renewable energy or sustainable housing. By reinvesting money into green, just alternatives we help to build the 'new economy' Quakers are also advocating for.

    Which area meetings have committed to divest from fossil fuels?

    So far, almost half of all area meetings have made this commitment or have already moved their investments away from fossil fuel companies. Among them are Bristol, Kendal and Sedbergh, Ipswich and Diss, and York.

    How to join the divestment movement

    • Screen a film, to get people thinking about climate justice, action, and fossil fuel divestment. A good film that focuses on these issues is Do the Math. It explains why we need to keep fossil fuels underground and how fossil fuel divestment works. It's available to watch for free on Youtube.
    • Host a conversation for members of your meeting about divesting your meetings money from fossil fuels. You could also organise a workshop on divestment (see below).
    • Look at the 'Guide to divesting from fossil fuels'. Get in touch (details below) so we can connect you with other meetings on the same journey.

    If your area meeting or local Meeting House has already committed to divest from fossil fuels, let us so we can celebrate! Please email Sunniva (Sunnivat@quaker.org.uk) to ask questions, get support with the process or tell us about your divestment decision.

    Climate justice and divestment workshop

    What is climate justice, how do we get there, and why does it matter to Quakers? If you are interested in these questions, and how fossil fuel divestment campaigning fits in, then this workshop may be for you and your meeting!

    This workshop is participatory and will take 1.5 hours. It will explore:

    • Our vision for climate justice, the blocks to achieving it (including the power of the fossil fuel industry), and how we can challenge these;
    • The roots of this concern for Quakers;
    • The role of fossil fuel divestment campaigning and how you can take action;
    • Our vision for the 'new' economy.

    We can tailor the workshop to your needs.

    Please get in touch using the contact details below if you would like to invite us to come to your meeting.

    Good Energy offer for Quaker meeting houses

    Good Energy are offering a special tariff for Quaker meeting houses.

    Good Energy is 100% renewable. The electricity is generated by Good Energy's own wind and solar farms and bought from independent generators across the country. To find out more about Good Energy and their electricity sources visit: www.goodenergy.co.uk/source.

    To switch your electricity to Good Energy contact business-sales@goodenergy.co.uk quoting QuakerEnergy16.

    Contact us

    Sunniva Taylor
    Sustainability and Peace Programme Manager
    020 7663 1047