The Church of England has submitted a shareholder resolution to Shell and BP, urging them to take more responsibility for their contribution towards climate change.
The Church, which has a £9bn investment portfolio, challenged the companies to cut their carbon footprint. It wants to see the businesses run in a way that will aid the move to a low carbon economy.
It said the oil giants, two of the biggest companies listed on the FTSE 100, have a particular responsibility to do this because "the fuels they produce contribute to climate change when they are burned".
Edward Mason, Church Commissioners head of responsible investment, said:
The idea is to give all of the shareholders of both companies the opportunity to signal that, like us, they want to see BP and Shell adapt their businesses over the long term for a low carbon economy. We want the companies to be sustainably profitable.
We hope that a large proportion of other shareholders will agree when it comes to the vote at the BP and Shell AGMs next spring.