The Church of Ireland completed its divestment from companies that extract fossil fuels by December 2021, in line with resolutions approved by our General Synod in 2017 and 2018.
A commitment was made in resolution at General Synod in 2018, to the effect that companies where more than 10% of turnover is derived from fossil fuel extraction would – by 2022 – be excluded from investments made by our central trustee body, the Representative Church Body (RCB). This built on an initial resolution on climate change and fossil fuels approved in 2017 (available below).
Through its Climate Change Policy, published annually in the Book of Reports considered by General Synod, the RCB seeks to mitigate and lower the climate change impact within its investment portfolios and has taken several steps in this regard over the past number of years, including collaborative engagement, investments in wind and solar energy and forestry, the implementation of restrictions for investments in coal mining and tar sands, and several disposals and divestments.
The policy relates to direct investments and exposure via acquisition and/or takeovers is reviewed on a case–by–case basis by the RCB’s Investment Committee, which will continue to monitor and review companies that appear not to be aligned with the long–term transition to a low–carbon economy and engage and/or divest as considered appropriate.
The RCB is also a member of the Church Investors Group (CIG) and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), which provide investors with a collaborative platform for engagement with public policy–makers and the exchange of expertise on climate change issues. It is also a founding signatory and supporter of the Climate Action 100+ initiative which engages with the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters with a view to curbing emissions, strengthening climate disclosures, and improving climate governance.