1,000 signatures reached
To: The Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group and National Investing Bodies
Disinvest the Church of England from fossil fuels
1. We ask the National Investing Bodies of the Church of England to make an explicit commitment to disinvest from companies involved in the extraction of oil, coal and gas, as soon as possible.
2. We urge the National Investing Bodies to increase their investment in clean alternatives to fossil fuels.
3. We call on the Church of England to take a leading and influential role in the national debate on the ethics of investment in fossil fuels.
Why is this important?
1. Climate change is becoming an ever more urgent issue, with increasingly severe impacts on our brothers and sisters around the world. Experts estimate that one person every second is displaced by climate or weather-related disasters. According to the Lancet, the number of weather-related disasters has increased by 46% since the year 2000.
2. Churches have a duty to ensure that their investments do not compromise the ethical position of their institutions. It is deeply uncomfortable for the Church to continue to invest in fossil fuels, which are causing the very harm it seeks to alleviate.
3. The Church of England invests more than £190 million in fossil fuel companies, despite the increasing financial risks of fossil fuel investments. A Carbon Tracker report published in 2017 found that five out of six major oil and gas companies were risking more than 30% of investments on projects that will never be pursued if global average temperature rises are limited to 2 degrees Celsius.
4. At Shell's AGM in May 2018, 95% of shareholders rejected a resolution calling on the company to set stronger emissions targets in line with the Paris Agreement goals. ExxonMobil blocked a resolution on climate change from being considered at its 2018 AGM. It is clear that engagement with fossil fuel companies isn't working.
5. The vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we are to have any chance of meeting the Paris Agreement targets. The reserves in currently operating oil and gas fields alone would take the world beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
6. The Church of England has made commitments to address climate change and reduce its overall carbon footprint. This commitment must be extended to how funds are invested. The Church has a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership on this issue and to influence the public debate on the ethics of continuing to invest in fossil fuels.
For more information about Operation Noah's Bright Now campaign, please visit www.brightnow.org.uk