Pressure increases on Church of England to divest from ExxonMobil


The Church of England is facing increasing calls to divest from ExxonMobil ahead of the company’s AGM on Wednesday 31 May.

Exxon’s Board of Directors has advised shareholders to vote against the climate resolution being supported by the Church Commissioners again this year. The resolution calls on ExxonMobil to report on the impact of climate policies on its business operations.

In 2016, a similar resolution proposed by the Church Commissioners was rejected by 62% of Exxon shareholders.

ExxonMobil is currently under investigation over claims that it knew about climate change as early as the 1970s, yet poured resources into publicly denying climate change for years.

A letter from Operation Noah calling on the Church of England to divest has been published in the Church Times. We republish the letter below.

This letter was first published by the Church Times: www.churchtimes.co.uk

C of E investments and fossil-fuel companies

From Mrs Nicky Bull

Sir, — I am writing in response to the letter (12 May) from the chief executive of the Church of England Pensions Board regarding its invest­ment in fossil-fuel companies.

The letter states that the Church of England National Investing Bodies “retain the right to disinvest if companies are unresponsive, and we will do so, as previously evid­enced when announcing the [climate change] policy in 2015”.
At the ExxonMobil AGM in 2016, 62 per cent of shareholders rejected the resolution on climate change proposed by the Church Commis­sioners, as they were recommended to do by the company’s Board of Directors.

This year, ExxonMobil’s Board of Directors is once again recommend­ing that shareholders vote against the climate resolution being sup­ported by the Church of England and others at the company’s AGM later this month.

Given the unwillingness of ExxonMobil to respond, surely the time has come for the Church of England to disinvest from Exxon?

The Church of England should join other Churches around the world, including the Church of Sweden, the World Council of Churches, and Anglican Church of Southern Africa, in disinvesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean alternatives.

Chair, Operation Noah
40 Bermondsey Street
London, SE1 3UD

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