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Charities Welcome Church Disinvestment

Thursday May 27 2021

Youth reps and supporters campaign for fossil fuel disinvestment at the 2019 General Assembly

Campaigners have welcomed yesterday (Wednesday’s) decision of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland that the Church should no longer invest in oil and gas companies.

The Assembly welcomed the news that the Church’s Investors Trust had sold all fossil fuels investments earlier this year, and agreed that any future investments in such companies would only take place if the company’s strategy is in line with the targets agreed in 2015’s Paris Agreement.

Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: “Christian Aid stands together with churches and communities across the world to eradicate poverty. We welcome the decision by the Kirk to disinvest in fossil fuels as it is a living example of putting faith into action.

“The effects of climate change make it increasingly difficult for fragile communities to escape entrenched poverty. As one of our partners said, ‘forget making poverty history, climate change is making it permanent.’ Communities living with the devastating consequences of climate chaos have been consistently calling on us all to make the significant changes necessary to bring climate justice. Investing our money and our energy in renewable and sustainable resources is one practical way to respond.’

The decision of the Church of Scotland follows moves by both the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church to set targets to reach net zero emissions by 2030; and in advance of the CoP26 climate conference to be held in Glasgow later this year.

Stephen Curran, Manager of Eco-Congregation Scotland, said: “Eco-Congregation Scotland welcomes this significant decision by the Church of Scotland, following divestment by a growing number of parishes and denominations. All churches accept a duty to make prudent and ethical decisions with any money in their stewardship. At this challenging time, divestment can also avert a damaging withdrawal in areas currently reliant on oil and gas industries by ensuring that reinvestment and new jobs offer a sustainable low carbon economy for the future.

“When we welcome the world to CoP26 in Glasgow this November, this important move by the Church of Scotland clearly demonstrates that churches here are taking action and leading by example in tackling the climate emergency.”

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, said: “We welcome this decision by the Church of Scotland to divest from oil and gas companies, which is a hugely significant step ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year. We thank all the Church of Scotland members who have campaigned tirelessly to make this happen. It is vital that the Church of Scotland rules out future investments in the fossil fuel industry and supports a just transition by investing in the clean technologies of the future.”

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