(FT) Churches join the fossil fuel debate

The world’s churches have become an arena for the debate over whether it is better to tackle global warming by divesting from fossil fuel companies or by holding shares and engaging with energy groups to spur more climate-friendly business models.

The World Council of Churches, which represents around 560m Christians in 140 countries, has adopted a divestment strategy for its SFr16.7m investment portfolio. Its finance policy committee decided in July that fossil fuels should be added to the list of sectors in which the council would not invest.

“The use of fossil fuels must be significantly reduced and by not investing in those companies we want to show a direction we need to follow as a human family to address climate changes properly,” said Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary.

But the Church of England, which has an investment portfolio worth around £9bn, has opted for engagement. It announced last month it would use its stakes in Royal Dutch Shell and BP to urge the companies to cut their carbon emissions and invest more in renewables.

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2 comments on “(FT) Churches join the fossil fuel debate

  1. David Keller says:

    I think the answer is to get consensus from Biblical scholars on what Jesus portfolio contained. If we know what stocks he held that will give us a clearer picture of what stocks we should hold. I realize there werent energy stocks as we think of them today in 30 AD, but certainly Jesus had stocks that we can interpolate into modern terms.

  2. Militaris Artifex says:

    This is speciesism at its malevolent worst. We shall remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby demonstrating our extreme antipathy to the vegetable sector of the biosphere. If this is pursued to its logical (or is it illogical?) extremes, there will be food shortages the likes of which have never been seen in human history, not to mention the shortage of suitable lumber !

    [i]Pax et bonum[/i],
    Keith Töpfer