Blog Archive: ethical investment Archives - Bright Now




Scottish Episcopal Church recognises ‘moral imperative to divest fully from fossil fuels’

The Scottish Episcopal Church has taken a major step towards divestment from fossil fuels after its General Synod voted to change its ethical investment policy.

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Investing sustainably: church investors challenged to think differently

On Thursday 6 October, church investors and ethical investment advisors from across the churches attended a conference organised by Operation Noah, The Climate Change Collaboration and Quaker Peace & Social Witness. The event, entitled “Investing sustainably: Protecting financial assets and supporting the transition to a zero-carbon future”, challenged the perceived barriers to scaling up investments in clean energy and other climate solutions. Read more




Stop Press: Disinvest to reinvest – conference 17th October 2015 now postponed until 2016

The Disinvest to reinvest conference due to take place on Saturday 17th October has been postponed until 2016
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Christian theologians, scientists and environmentalists reflect on ethics of fossil fuel investments

In a new Bright Now paper, Christian theologians, scientists and environmentalists consider the question ‘Is it ethical to invest in fossil fuels?’, arguing that the Church must transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy as a matter of life and faith.

As the international fossil fuel divestment movement grows, Churches around the world are considering the ethics of their investments in oil, gas and coal. Recognising that the vast majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves need to be left underground to prevent catastrophic climate change, and that climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable communities, many are electing to sell these investments and instead use their funds to support renewable energies and other clean technologies.

This paper brings together experts from different denominational backgrounds and regions around the world to consider the ethics of the Church’s investments in fossil fuels. Read more




The Church of England threatens to pull its investments from BP and Shell unless they take action to address climate change

Following the Church of England’s recent announcement that it will file two shareholder resolutions at the BP and Shell AGMs in 2015, the Church stated last week that it will consider disinvestment from these companies as a ‘last resort’ if they are unresponsive to the Church’s concerns.

Can the Church of England use its investments to change the business strategies of fossil fuel companies, or should it follow other Churches around the world in refusing to profit from, and provide finance to, the fossil fuel industry?

Under pressure from Christian campaigners to disinvest, the Church of England is pursuing an engagement strategy to encourage BP and Shell to take account of climate change. The Church is now filing two shareholder resolutions asking for information concerning the companies’ rating under the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Climate Performance Leaders Index (CPLI), their resilience to the International Energy Agency’s post-35 scenarios, and their investment in low-carbon technology including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Operation Noah is pleased to see the Church considering these issues. However, we believe the Church must go further. We would like to know what criteria the Church of England will use to determine the effectiveness of their engagement, and the point at which a decision to disinvest would be taken. As fossil fuel companies continue to explore and extract ever-increasing amounts of fossil fuels while our window of opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change grows smaller, when will it be time for the Church to use its ‘last resort’?

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Church Commissioners and Ethical Investment

The Church Commissioners have celebrated the “best” results for their investment fund in eight years (News, 30 May). We are told that, after Government Treasury Bonds, their next biggest stock-exchange holdings were in Royal Dutch Shell, Vodafone, HSBC, and BP. So much for ethical investment!

It is bad enough to have substantial investments in a bank that has recently paid hundreds of millions in fines to US regulators for money laundering and in a company that saved billions of tax in a sweetheart deal with HM Revenue and Customs. Worse still are the large holdings in oil companies. Read more