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PNS Daily Newscast - December 11, 2017 


Families across the nation are still waiting for children's health insurance funding; also on our nationwide rundown, Aztec High School in New Mexico remains closed following a deadly shooting; plus a look at how politics figure into most companies' marketing strategies.

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Catholic Church Follows Bay State's Lead: Fossil Fuel Divestment Before G-7

Ahead of the G-7 Summit, the Catholic Church announced it's divesting from fossil fuels and coal  a move some Massachusetts churches have already made. (Church of the Covenant)
Ahead of the G-7 Summit, the Catholic Church announced it's divesting from fossil fuels and coal a move some Massachusetts churches have already made. (Church of the Covenant)
May 22, 2017

BOSTON – As world leaders prepare to meet at this week's G-7 summit in Italy, nine Catholic dioceses and religious orders in the U.S. and Europe have committed to divesting their holdings in coal, natural gas and oil companies within the next five years.

Rev. Rob Mark, lead pastor at the Church of the Covenant in Boston, calls the divestment movement "creative evangelism." He credits Pope Francis and is glad to see Catholic churches getting on this bandwagon.

"So, I come from a starting point that climate change is the most pressing moral issue of our time," he states. "It's critical that we're speaking about this and we're acting; so my congregation, here in the Back Bay, voted to divest almost three years ago."

Trump, who will attend the G-7 meetings, has taken steps to block the Clean Power Plan – the primary U.S. strategy for reaching the climate goals set in Paris. Trump has not made clear whether his administration will uphold America's commitments to reduce carbon emissions, and in the past has called climate change "a hoax."

Yossi Cadan, an organizer with the group 350.org, says Pope Francis' recent encyclical highlighting the need to act on climate is starting to show real results.

"Because of the sheer size of the Catholic Church and its political influence, that was definitely a milestone for – not just on divestment, divestment is part of that - but on the work on climate change," he states.

Last week, the CEO of fossil fuel giant Dutch Shell told NPR that climate change is real, and said a worldwide transition to clean energy will be necessary to keep global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels.

According to a report by the University of Oxford, nearly 600 institutions worth more than $3.4 trillion dollars have made divestment commitments. Cadan says that 23 percent of those are from religious institutions.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA