Diocese of London backs progressive divestment from fossil fuel companies
The London Diocesan Fund (LDF) has today announced changes to its Ethical Investment Policy, reflecting concerns raised within the Diocese and the wider Church of England over the growing impact of climate change. Following a debate and subsequent vote at Diocesan Bishop’s Council, the Diocese has now agreed to ban future investment in oil and gas companies, and will review its current holdings.
The revised policy includes a total exclusion for fossil fuels given their conflict with the missional aims and objectives of the Church, particularly its responsibility for stewardship. This will see the LDF divest from investment funds that do not align with these criteria, marking a change from the previous position of the LDF favouring funds’ engagement with oil and gas companies to encourage them to reduce their climate impact. The LDF currently holds investments of c.£50m with CCLA and M&G Fund managers, which will now be reviewed in the light of the revised policy.
The UK Government has established an aim to become to net zero by 2050. The Church of England, and the Diocese of London, are aiming for net zero 20 years sooner – by 2030. The new policy also brings London into line with the National Church of England, and with the other dioceses in the Church of England who have backed this approach.
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, said:
“Our commitment – as Christians – to the environment is motivated by our faith, rooted in the care for creation and for all God’s people. In London we see first-hand the impact of our environmental decision making. The capital’s air pollution problem not only contributes to our health but to climate change too. We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions as far and fast as possible”