Blog by Riccardo Rossella – Italian Climate Network

Divest the Vatican bannerThe campaign for divestment has started in Italy! As the first step for the campaign, in collaboration with, Coordinamento Power Shift Italia, The Climate Reality Project, Viração and FIMA, we brought the message of Divest the Vatican… to the Vatican!

On 28 June, thousands of people marched together through the streets of Rome for speaking out on the urgency to take action for tackling climate change. The march was organized by FOCSIV, a coalition encompassing over 70 Italian Christian  groups and associations that strive to promote development and social justice in the Global South, OurVoices, an international campaign against climate change, Green Faith, the Conservation Foundation, and

This event brought together a wide range of groups, associations, and people with different backgrounds, including but not limited to Catholic and other faith groups, environmental associations, and representatives of communities particularly affected by the impact of climate change from countries like the Philippines or Papua New Guinea. All these actors gathered under the slogan “One Earth, one Human Family” for a diverse and colourful manifestation that ended in Saint Peter Square to convey its message directly to Pope Francis. The Pope responded by addressing the people in the square during the Angelus – the traditional Sunday prayer that takes place when the Pope is in Rome – highlighting the need of an “integral ecology” approach.

Many faiths, one planet - climate march Vatican

People of different faiths marching together

The purpose of the march was twofold. On the one hand, it wanted to celebrate and thank the Pope for the publication of the encyclical “Laudato sii”, in which he called for strong action against climate change and other global environmental issues, and called for ethical finance. At the same time, the march aimed to raise awareness on climate change and ask the international community for strong engagement.

Our message during the march was the slogan “The Earth and the Poor are crying out for Divestment”: We think that this is the right moment to request the Vatican Bank to divest from fossil fuels, in view of the fact that divestment from coal, oil and gas builds on the same ethical principles expressed in the encyclical.

the earth and the poor are crying out for divestment - climate march Vatican

Banner calling for divestment from fossil fuels at the march

The petition asking the Vatican Bank to divest from fossil fuels has already been signed by tens of thousands of people, and is part of the global divestment campaign. So far, over 220 institutions worldwide, including many religious institutions, have positively acknowledged this message by taking concrete actions to reduce or eliminate their investments in fossil fuels.

Sign the petition to divest the Vatican:

For more information about  Divest Italy:

For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram