Church of England threatens to cut investment ties with oil and gas companies

Sebastian McCarthy
The Annual Church of England General Synod
The Church of England has more than £8bn in its investment fund (Source: Getty)

The Church of England plans to sell off its shares in fossil fuel companies by 2023 if they do not become more environmentally friendly.

The General Synod, or the church's parliaments, voted to channel the Church’s £8bn investment fund as well as its £2.3bn retirement fund away from oil and gas firms that do not do enough to combat climate change.

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By the end of 2017, the Church Commissioners had £123m invested in oil and gas firms.

However, if firms do not meet Paris agreements climate change targets in the next five years, the Church will sell off its shares in a crackdown on oil firms.

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The Church of England said the vote made it clear that "the church must play a leading role on the urgent issue of climate change."

Ethical investment within the Church of England has become a growing issue, after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby admitted back in 2013 to being "embarrassed and irritated" about the Church's indirect investments in payday loan firm Wonga which it has since stopped.

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