100 signatures reached
To: The trustees of the Church of Scotland Investment Trust and the Trustees Church of Scotland Pension Trust
Divest the Church of Scotland from Fossil Fuels
1. As it is immoral for the Church to have investments that will condemn Creation to climate disaster, we call on the Church of Scotland to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies. Furthermore we call upon the Church to divest within five years (by the end of 2018) from direct ownership and from any commingled* funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.
2. We call upon the Church of Scotland Investment Trust and the Church of Scotland Pension trust to submit quarterly reports detailing their progress towards divesting from fossil fuel companies and commingled funds including fossil fuel companies.
3. We ask both trusts to engage with the whole Church community, to have an open discussing as to how some of the Church’s investment portfolio could be used to provide solutions to environmental issues and poverty at home and abroad. Such investments could include energy efficiency and renewable energy on Church property and in the wider community - reducing energy bills, generating income and increasing employment in the new industries that are tackling climate change.
*Commingled funds - mixed fund - a commingled fund including fossil fuel companies would be an investment/pension fund in which some of the shares or equities or bonds etc were from fossil fuel companies.
Why is this important?
As Christians we have a commitment to justice for the poor who are already suffering the worst effects of climate change and have done little to cause it. More frequent and intense hurricanes and flooding, longer and more frequent droughts and sea-level rise is already a reality that millions face across the globe, especially in the developing world. Climate changing is having a negative impact of food security leading to famine and conflict. In addition to the thousands of fatalities caused by these climate disasters many more people are forced from their homes.
We accept the science that climate change is being driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. We acknowledge that this is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels. We accept, as has been internationally agreed, global temperature rise is should be limited to less than 2.C to avert the worst impacts of climate change. The Fossil fuel companies have five times more coal, oil and gas in their reserves than we can safely burn and stay below 2.C global temperature rise. If no action is taken then these reserves will be burnt and the resulting climate change will be catastrophic. We must keep the oil in the soil, the coal in the hole and the gas beneath the grass. The church should take a moral stand and withdraw its investment from the fossil fuel industry. Through their contribution to climate change, oil spills, air pollution (causing thousands of deaths a year) and destruction of ecosystems the fossil fuel companies have lost their social license to operate.