The Church of England will submit shareholder resolutions to BP and Shell, two of the world’s biggest oil companies, to take responsibility for their carbon footprints, limit their contribution to global warming and to take action to “adapt their businesses over the long term for a low carbon economy”. The companies are two of the top five investments in the Church’s £9bn investment fund.
The intervention comes as ministers from nearly 200 countries prepare to meet next week in Lima, Peru, for UN climate talks to lay the draft text for a carbon-cutting deal next year, and as the church itself comes under pressure to relinquish its investments in fossil fuels.
Edward Mason, the head of responsible investment at the Church Commissioners for England, said in a blogpost that, as shareholders, the church had a vital opportunity to influence companies’ climate change strategy.
“We have chosen to file shareholder resolutions at BP and Shell because they have the biggest carbon footprints of all the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, and they are yet to achieve A ratings (they are both rated B) [on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s ranking].
Posted by Andrew Gerns.