Diocese of Durham votes to phase out fossil fuels


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The Church of England Diocese of Durham voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuel companies and ruled out future investments in fossil fuels on Saturday, November 13.

The Diocesan Synod of Durham voted in favor of a motion supporting the policy of divesting fossil fuel companies and resolving not to invest in companies with significant fossil fuel revenues in the future. The Diocese of Durham’s investment managers, ACLC, sold its last remaining shares in fossil fuel companies last year for financial reasons.

The Diocese of Durham also recognized the climate emergency and the Church of England General Synod’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The Diocesan Synod of Durham has agreed to expand its response to the climate emergency through its priority “Caring for God’s Creation” and to help its investment managers take further steps towards a goal of zero net by 2030.

Diocese of Durham becomes sixth Church of England diocese to pledge to divest from fossil fuel companies, after Dioceses of Oxford, Bristol, Sodor & Man, Truro and Norwich also made pledges of divestment in recent months.

His decision to step down was of additional importance as it took place on the last day of the UN climate talks, COP26.

Last month, 72 religious institutions, including 37 from the UK, joined the largest divestment announcement ever made by religious organizations.

James Morgan, Diocesan Secretary of Durham, said: “As we heard at COP26, we face a climate emergency and it is up to all of us to do what we can to protect this planet for generations. futures. Where we invest funds as a diocese, we will ensure that they are not invested in companies that benefit significantly from the extraction of fossil fuels, be it oil, gas or coal . “

The motion debated at the Diocesan Synod of Durham was developed by the diocesan environmental champions in collaboration with St Nic Church in Durham. Reverend Arun Arora, Vicar at St Nic’s Durham, said: “As talks come to a close at COP26, the message to think globally and act locally has never been more relevant. The adoption of this motion is a small step in the broader commitment to act for climate justice in our churches and communities. ‘

James Buchanan, Bright Now campaign director for Operation Noah, said: “It is great news that the Diocese of Durham has decided to pull out of the fossil fuel companies. This is a milestone on the last day of COP26, as voices from marginalized communities call for climate justice and no further exploration and extraction of fossil fuels. We thank St Nic’s Durham and everyone involved for their leadership. We hope this move will inspire many other Church of England dioceses to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions.

The motion adopted by the Diocesan Synod of Durham reads as follows:

– note the commitment of the General Synod of the Church of England to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030;
recognize the existence of a climate emergency;
– the resolution to develop its response to this emergency through its priority “Taking care of God’s creation”;
– the resolution to support its investment managers in continuing to move towards net zero by 2030, welcoming their policy of divesting fossil fuel companies; and
– the resolution not to invest in the future in companies whose significant revenues come from fossil fuels.

Get rid of your church

If you would like to secure a divestment pledge from your local church or diocese, Operation Noah would be happy to hear from you. Please contact Bokani Tshidzu on [email protected] for more information or to register your interest.

Key words: Divestment, Fossil Fuels, Operation Noah, Durham

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