The Church of England urged to vote for divestment.

On Sunday 8 July 2018 the Church of England General Synod will vote on whether to divest from oil and gas companies not unequivocally aligned to the Paris Agreement goals of keeping global warming below 2C. This would be a historic vote and would echo the Church of Ireland commitment at its 2018 General Synod to divest from all fossil fuel producers by 2022.

The Church of England is a powerful voice in institutional investments. It has led strongly in collaborative engagement in recent years. A successful amendment vote on Sunday at General Synod would send one of the strongest signals to fossil fuel companies that the time for serious action has arrived.

Oil majors have been tripping over themselves with green announcements recently. Shell, ENI and Equinor have promised to reduce production emissions and to transform themselves into ‘energy companies’ rather than oil and gas companies. These announcements are welcome, but the Paris Agreement goals require a rapid reduction fossil fuel extraction and increasing renewable energy production. The energy companies need to measurably demonstrate the rapid move away from fossil fuels is their goal.

The Oxford Amendment will produce a meaningful change from fossil fuel extraction companies much more rapidly that engagement has achieved in recent years. Members of General Synod are urged to vote to support the amendment.

The Church of Ireland voted for divestment, we urge our Church of England brethren to do the same.

Note: The full text of the motion and the amendment being voted on Bishop Steven’s Blog is on the Oxford Diocese website.

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