1st May 2015
The Church of England is ditching it investment in fossil fuel companies after adopting a new climate change policy.
It plans to sell investments in companies where more than 10% of revenues come from the extraction of coal or the production of oil from tar sands – the total value of the sale is expected to be £12 million.
The Church manages three investment funds, worth a total of £8 billion and said its change in policy reflected its ‘moral responsibility’ to protect the poor who are the most vulnerable to climate change.
‘Climate change is already a reality,’ said Rev Canon Professor Richard Burridge, deputy chair of the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG).
‘The Church has a moral responsibility to speak and act on both environmental stewardship and justice for the world’s poor who are most vulnerable to climate change. This responsibility encompasses not only the Church’s own work to reduce our own carbon footprint, but also how the Church’s money is invested and how we engage with companies on this vital issue.’
The new policy will ensure the Church engages with fossil fuel companies and ‘better aligns the Church’s investment practice with its belief, theology and practice,’ said Bishop Nick Holtam, who is the leading bishop on environmental issues.
The latest move by the Church is part of an effort to increase engagement with companies that contribute to global greenhouse emissions and was one of a number of major shareholders that filed resolutions at BP and Shell calling for more transparency about how their companies will cope with climate change.