9

Jun

2015

Urge your Church of England and Methodist Church representatives to support disinvestment this summer!

 

In June and July this year, the Church of England General Synod and Methodist Conference will debate fossil fuel investments. You can strengthen this debate and encourage the Churches to make progress towards disinvestment by asking your representatives to vote and speak in favour of disinvestment.

You can also support the campaign by praying, on Thursday 2nd July (Methodist debate) and Monday 13th July (Church of England debate), for those speaking in the debates and for a positive outcome.

Church of England

Over the last year, the Dioceses of Oxford and Birmingham have passed resolutions urging the Church to disinvest. In response to these and other calls from local churches, the Church recently published a new policy on climate change. This includes disinvestment of £12 million from coal and tar sands, but also states that the Church will continue to engage with, and invest in, other fossil fuel companies. On 13th July, General Synod will debate this policy. They will also vote on an amendment asking the Church to strengthen this policy by making further progress towards disinvestment. You can support disinvestment by asking your General Synod representatives to vote and speak in favour of this amendment.

Please also invite your Synod members to come along to our fringe event on Sunday 12 July from 1 – 2.15pm, where we’ll explore the case for disinvestment from fossil fuels. Download the flyer here – Fossil Fuels – Is there a case for disinvestment.

Getting in touch with your General Synod members

Use this list to find your representatives from the three voting houses (House of Bishops, House of Clergy and House of Laity). For each house, you will find a telephone number for your Diocese. You can then arrange to speak to your representatives on the phone, meet in person, or ask for an email or postal address.

Methodist Church

In response to memorials (resolutions) from Circuits and Districts raised last year at Conference, the Church has reviewed its investments in fossil fuels and published a new policy on climate change.

In this, the Church states that it may exclude coal and tar sands companies, but also outlines its intention to continue engaging with fossil fuel companies.

This year, three Circuits and Districts have passed memorials asking the Church to disinvest from coal, oil and gas. Supporters of these memorials will seek to strengthen the Church’s climate policy at Conference this year during a Conference debate on fossil fuel investments on 2nd July. This may include a further motion asking the Church to make progress towards disinvestment. You can support disinvestment by encouraging your Conference representatives to vote and speak in favour of this motion during this debate.

If your Conference representatives would like to be involved in supporting this motion, please ask them to get in touch with the Bright Now campaign at ellie.roberts@operationnoah.org.

Please also invite your Conference representatives to come along to our fringe event on Wednesday 1 July from 1 – 2pm in Waterfront Room 5, where we’ll explore the case for disinvestment from fossil fuels.

Getting in touch with your representatives

Use this map to find your District website, where you will find contact details for your District Office. The Office will be able to provide contact details for your representatives. If your District does not have a website, your District Synod Secretary will also be able to provide contact details for your representatives.

You may want to include some of these key points about disinvestment in your message or conversation, but above all make it positive and personal!

  • A growing number of Churches around the world are already committing to disinvest from fossil fuels; these now include the Church of Sweden, the World Council of Churches, Quakers in Britain, the United Reformed Church (URC) of Scotland, the Uniting Church in Australia and Anglican dioceses in New Zealand and Australia.
  • The Church has taken a positive and progressive first step towards disinvesting coal and tar sands from their portfolios. However, the Church can do more. It can heed Desmond Tutu’s call to break all ties with ‘corporations financing the injustice of climate change’.
  • 80% of fossil fuels need to be left underground to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees C. Despite this, the fossil fuel industry continues to base its business strategy on expanding fossil fuel extraction into the second half of this century, with Shell exploring Arctic oil and BP developing tar sands extraction in Canada.
  • In working as churches to speak out prophetically in the face of climate change, we need to consider how we can best challenge the fossil fuel industry’s social licence to continue with business-as-usual plans, as well as its political power. Divestment movements throughout history – from South Africa to tobacco – show that when the social and political licence of an industry is weakened, it becomes more possible for governments to take bold action.
  • Fossil fuel investments are becoming increasingly risky. The Bank of England, World Bank, HSBC, MSCI and others have warned that fossil fuel assets could become ‘stranded’ or worthless if legislation to reduce carbon and other emissions is implemented, posing long-term financial risk to the Church’s investments. Growing numbers of studies show that fossil free portfolios can outperform those invested in fossil fuels.

You may also want to also send them the Bright Now reports available on our website here. These set out the ethical, theological, financial and practical case for disinvestment.

If you need any further support to get in touch with your Synod or Conference representatives, please get in touch with the campaign at ellie.roberts@operationnoah.org or on 07801 570653.

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