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No more money for oil Divest or engage? Part one

With climate experts announcing that we have 12 years to contain climate change, is it time for all Churches to stop investing in fossil fuel companies? asks Operation Noah’s

James Buchanan. Next month, the United Reformed Church’s investors respond io/Shutterstock

: ©ProStockStud

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What do New York City, the Royal College of GPs and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa have in common? All three have made commitments to end their investments in fossil fuel companies.

Churches have long been at the forefront of ethical investment, excluding areas such as arms, tobacco and gambling from their financial portfolios. Yet, when Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign for fossil-free Churches was launched in 2013, the ethics of investment in fossil fuels had received little attention among most investors.

Since then, Quakers in Britain, the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland and the Church of Ireland have committed to full divestment from fossil fuels. However, most UK Churches continue to invest millions in oil and gas companies.

Both the Methodist Conference in 2017 and the Church of England General Synod in 2018 voted to support the principle of divestment from oil and gas companies whose business investment plans are at odds with the UN Paris Agreement on climate change.

The URC has investigated and debated the issues and took the positive step of divesting

‘Most UK Churches invest millions in oil and gas’

Reform Magazine | November 2018 | 29

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