Diocese of Truro divests from fossil fuel companies


The Diocese of Truro has announced that it has fully divested from fossil fuel investments. Having committed to becoming net zero by 2030, the diocese announced that it no longer invests in funds that include fossil fuel extraction.

Truro Cathedral, Cornwall (Photo credit: Tim Green)

The diocese launched its new environmental strategy Cherish Creation, Cut Carbon Speak Up: A diocesan vision and strategy for Creation Care in early 2021. This announcement is the latest in a series of changes the diocese is making to meet its commitments.

The Bishop of St Germans, Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, who leads on Creation Care in the diocese, announced the decision ahead of COP26. Bishop Hugh said: ‘We are proud to be able to say we no longer invest in companies whose principal business involves the extraction, production or refining of coal, gas and oil. We know there is still a long way to go and we will be looking very closely at all our investments to try and divest wherever we find an indirect link to extraction but we are pleased to have taken this first, big step.’

Michael Sturgess, Chair of the Truro Diocesan Board of Finance, said: ‘We have deliberately selected fund managers with a strong ethical policy in terms of creation care as well as strong investment performance and are actively seeking out good investments such as renewables at the same time as continuing to review our existing investments to ensure we meet our commitments.’

Fossil fuel divestment is a powerful act of faith that hundreds of religious institutions around the world have taken to respond to the climate emergency. Many UK Churches have taken the important step of fully divesting from fossil fuels, including the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union, the Church in Wales and the Church of Scotland.

Three other dioceses in the Church of England have divested from fossil fuels. These include the dioceses of Bristol, Oxford and Sodor & Man. A further 18 out of 42 dioceses do not invest in fossil fuels for financial reasons, but have not ruled out investing in fossil fuels in the future.

The decision of the Diocese of Truro to divest its own investments in fossil fuel companies follows the 2018 Church of England General Synod, where members voted to call on the Church of England’s National Investing Bodies to accelerate divestment from fossil fuels.

Divest your church 

A number of churches in the Diocese of Truro have also made the decision to go fossil free with their investments. St Martin’s Church in Liskeard is among those responding to Operation Noah’s call for divestment from fossil fuel companies in the lead up to COP26. The global divestment announcement to be made by the World Council of Churches, Laudato Si’ Movement, Operation Noah, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith on Tuesday 26 October, brings together other dioceses and many other faith organisations from around the world who will announce their commitment to divest from fossil fuels.

If you would be interested in getting your local church or regional Church structures (dioceses and equivalents) to make a divestment commitment, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please get in touch with Bokani Tshidzu on bokani.tshidzu@operationnoah.org by 18 October 2021 for further information or to register your interest.

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