A MULTI-FAITH NETWORK
COMMITTED TO ACTION
ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Anglican appeal to CEO of Fairfax Financial

The Dean of St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, and Chair of Angligreen have written this heartfelt letter to Mr Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings, which owns Insurance companies Allied World, Brit and Newline. Of these, Brit remains at risk of insuring Adani. 

Please pray that Mr Watsa, who is a devout practising Anglican, is moved by this appeal from these Anglican clergy. If you feel moved by this message from The Very Rev's Dr Peter Catt and the Rev'd Peter Moore, you may want to write to Mr Watsa too.

Dear Mr Watsa

Greetings in the name of Christ from St John's Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane.

To introduce those of us who are writing:

  • The Very Rev'd Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St John's cathedral and Chair of the Social Responsibilities Committee, Anglican Church Southern Queensland, and
  • The Rev'd Peter Moore, Chair of Angligreen, our Anglican body that exists to ensure that the church and its members develop a reverence for all of Creation and work towards looking after the planet.

We write to you as people of faith and as fellow Anglicans, to share our deep concern for the planet and to ask you to act to help us safeguard the integrity of creation.

We are aware of your faith-driven activities and philanthropy, including the fact that your Fairfax India Charitable Foundation aims to deliver measurable social impact among India's poorest and help create a sustainable ecosystem for the local community. We give thanks for this.

Very Rev'd Dr Peter Catt (front) & Rev'd Peter Moore directly behind. Photo credit: Peter Branjerdporn

As you would be aware Safeguarding the integrity of Creation is the 5th of The Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion 1. The 5th Mark of Mission reflects the fact that Anglican Christians understand the world to be a gift which we are called to care for. 2.

We note with gratitude that the Anglican Church of Canada 3. and your Diocese of Toronto are responding to this call in positive ways; particularly through the setting of goals that seek to reduce the Church's and individual Christians' carbon foot print. 4. 5.

The quest to honour the 5th mark of Mission by avoiding a catastrophic change to climate is the issue that brings us to write to you.

Here in our home State of Queensland we are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate. 50% of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef has already died, The Torres Strait Islanders are losing their island homes and farmers are facing increasing climate variability.

We are sure that as an insurer you are too aware of the increasing threat that the changing climate poses.

So, with this deep concern in our hearts, we request that you direct all your insurance companies, particularly Brit and Newline to not provide any insurance for the Adani Carmichael coal project which is located in our home State of Queensland in Australia. We ask that you extend this ban to include the mine rail and port and ask you to rule out insurance for Adani's contractors who are constructing the mine and rail project.

The Adani project is deeply unpopular here and is environmentally destructive.

We note with gratitude that one of your companies Allied World has recently committed to not offering insurance cover to Adani's coal project.6 Our hope is that your other companies will follow suit.

We thank you for the actions you have already taken to address the climate crisis, and to distance your company from climate wrecking companies and industries. We encourage you to follow other leading insurers and to stop providing the insurance cover that supports and enables climate destroying coal projects like Adani's Carmichael mine.

We would gladly have conversation with you or any Australian representatives to discuss this further.

Peace,

The Very Rev'd Dr Peter Catt Dean of Brisbane

The Rev'd Peter Moore Chair, Angligreen

 

If readers feel moved to write too, Mr Watsa's e-mail addresses are: p_watsa@fairfax.ca and pwatsa@fairfax.ca 

 

1. https://www.anglicancommunion.org/mission/marks-of-mission.aspx

2. https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/parish-Iife/sociaI-justice-and-advocacy/environmentaI-issues/

3. https://cpj.ca/anglican-church-canada-climate-action/

4. https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/04-Diocesan-Environmental-Plan-2-pages.pdf

5. https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Environmental-Policy-Paper-.pdf

6. https://www.royalgazette.com/re-insurance/article/20201002/more-insurers-spurn-huge-coalmine-project/