Today, the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain voted unanimously to disinvest from coal and tar sands by 2017. The Conference also asked the Church’s ethical investment body to report back on possible further disinvestment from other fossil fuels by 2016.
This follows a revised policy on climate change and investment published by the Methodist Church earlier this year, which set criteria for disinvesting from coal and tar sands but did not make an explicit commitment to take immediate action.
Those speaking during the debate argued for disinvestment from an industry that has failed to respond to climate change for more than 20 years, threatening to push the global climate beyond 2 degrees C warming. One representative from West Yorkshire Methodist District, which earlier this year voted overwhelmingly for the Church to disinvest from coal, oil and gas, said, ‘The argument for disinvestment is based on the gospel imperative to love our neighbour. How can we love God if we fail to halt the threat to the Earth he created?’