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Showing posts from April, 2017

Comments on the RCB Climate Change Policy 2017

The RCB has released an updated 2017 Policy on Climate Change and it is much improved over the 2016 version.

Gone is the opening line, “Climate change and the impact of fossil fuels on the environment are extremely complex”. A much better statement in the first paragraph reflects a more realistic position,
“the RCB on behalf of the Church of Ireland seeks to mitigate and lower the Climate Change impact within its investment portfolios”. The most galling sentence in the 2016 policy was this one, “the fact is that fossil fuels will continue to contribute a major component of this energy mix for the foreseeable future and remain one of the most cost efficient methods of energy production.” This sentence has also gone. The fact is that renewable energy is already much cheaper than fossil fuels in much of the world. In the new policy the emphasis is on reducing fossil fuel exposure is repeated multiple times in the 2017 policy. This new emphasis is great news.

Shareholder engagement with …

Church of Ireland RCB Policy on Climate Change 2017

The Representative Church Body – Report 2017
RCB Policy on Climate Change The RCB is supportive of public policy to support a diverse energy mix and a transition to a low carbon economy. As Christians and responsible investors, the RCB on behalf of the Church of Ireland seeks to mitigate and lower the Climate Change impact within its investment portfolios.

The RCB’s investment strategy is aligned to the Church of England’s investment strategy in its commitment to make the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economy. To date, renewable energy investment commitments include €8.5m million for the Irish Energy Efficiency Fund; a €3 million investment in Next Energy solar Fund, €5.4m investment in a UK on-shore wind farm Fund and a €10m commitment approved for investment in forestry. The Funds have additional exposures through holdings in various Infrastructure Funds with exposure to solar and wind assets as well as individual equity holdings that contribute to …

We can afford to tackle climate change - video

This video explains why we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and that we can afford to tackle climate change.

Church of Ireland divests from its largest fossil fuel investment – Kinder Morgan

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The Church of Ireland is divesting from Kinder Morgan (KMI), a fossil fuel pipeline and utilities company. For a number of years KMI was the largest fossil fuel investment the Church of Ireland had with about £4m invested in this company. This is about 2% of its entire investment funds. Kinder Morgan announced last year that it would build another pipeline, the Trans-Mountain pipeline, to treble the throughput of tar sands oils from Alberta Canada to the Canadian west coast. A move that the Anglican churches in Canada oppose.
The divestment announcement is wonderful news! I have written a number of times on this blog about the ethical problem of investing in Kinder Morgan. The decision to divest was largely based on financial grounds but this demonstrates that wise investors are divesting from fossil fuels.
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Bishop Alan of Connor diocese has risen to the top of the environmental league table in the Church of Ireland. His entire Lent Course for 2017 is entitled “Stewards of Creation”.

In his talk at Lisburn Cathedral on March 29 he outlined that humans are created by God for a relationship with Him, each other and with the earth and its creatures. We are part of creation but we fail in all of these areas. Hence many of the problems we see around the world.

He highlighted the problem of fossil fuels, deforestation and desertification on land, and the dreadful problem of pollution from plastic in the oceans (with some nasty photos to illustrate!)

For solutions he encouraged everyone to support Christian development agencies like Christian Aid, Tearfund and A Rocha. He suggested we study the 5 marks of mission, which includes care for creation, use Fairtrade in church, walk more, drive less and so on. There were also some great quotes, including this one,
“It seems quite inexplicable to me …