Climate campaigners react to Church of England fuel fossil divestment

Climate campaigners are celebrating yesterday’s decision by the Church of England to divest from fossil fuel companies, after years of calling for the change.

The decision came after 200 members of the Church of England clergy wrote to the Church of England Pensions Board calling on the organisation to fully divest from fossil fuels, arguing that “the Church can and should do more”.

The Church has held shares in a number of fossil fuel companies, including BP and Shell.

Campaigners from Christian organisations, including environmental campaign group Operation Noah, have said they welcome the church’s announcement. Previously, the Church of England had backed down from disinvesting in Shell, but it has changed tact following the company’s failure to set targets in line with the 1.5C Paris agreement.

Paying tribute to grassroots organisers, chair Reverend Darrell Hannah said: “Operation Noah celebrates the Church of England’s decision to divest from all fossil fuel companies, which we believe should send shockwaves around the world, making it clear that these companies are not acting in good faith and not preparing for the global transition to renewable energy.”

“Overheating the planet and underinvesting in renewables while exploring for new oil and gas against scientific warnings, fossil fuel companies are an increasingly dangerous investment. In fact a day is fast approaching when oil and gas assets will lose tremendous amounts of value as the world electrifies and decarbonises at pace.”

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Christian Aid head of global advocacy Jennifer Larbie also commented on the announcement. She said that – as an investor which takes its ethical responsibilities seriously – the Church of England’s decision to divest from fossil fuel companies is a “damning indictment of the harm these corporations are doing to the world.”

“Over the years the continued engagement of Church investors has emboldened oil and gas companies and given them the social license and political capital to influence politicians around the world. That time has ended,” she added.

Christian Climate Action tweeted: “This a great day for the integrity of our young people. After many years, the Church of England is no longer investing in fossil fuel companies.”

Green Anglicans also took to social media to express its support, saying there is “no faith in fossil fuels!”

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