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Church of England Dumps Greedy Oil Giants, Refuses to Compromise on Climate Responsibility

The Church of England’s divestment is a powerful rebuke to the fossil fuel industry. It demonstrates that morality and environmental stewardship take precedence over short-term profit maximization.

Posted by John Donovan: 23 Jiune 2023

In a remarkable display of moral clarity, the Church of England has taken a decisive stand against the heartless oil and gas behemoths. The Church, recognizing its duty to protect God’s creation, has decided to sell its investments in BP, Shell, Total, and other major polluters. Finally, the faithful have declared that fossil fuels have no place in their mission to safeguard the planet.

The Church’s divestment from oil and gas companies is a direct response to their abysmal failure in taking meaningful action toward achieving net-zero emissions and combating global warming. In 2018, the General Synod, the Church’s lawmaking body, voted to disinvest from fossil fuel companies that demonstrated a lack of commitment to addressing climate change. Additionally, the Synod set a target in 2020 for the Church to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Until now, the Church had naively believed that retaining shares in these environmentally destructive companies would somehow influence them to embrace decarbonization. But at long last, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, a former oil industry worker himself, has welcomed the Church’s reversal. He boldly declared, “The climate crisis threatens the planet we live on and people around the world who Jesus Christ calls us to love as our neighbours. It is our duty to protect God’s creation, and energy companies have a special responsibility to help us achieve the just transition to the low-carbon economy we need.” The Archbishop, driven by both science and faith, called for phasing out fossil fuels, investing in renewables, and charting a credible path to a net-zero world.

The Church Commissioners for England, chaired by the Archbishop, made the momentous decision to sell the remaining investments in the oil and gas sector. This action will not only exclude all major oil and gas companies from the Church’s portfolio but will also bar other companies engaged in oil and gas exploration, production, and refining, unless they demonstrate genuine alignment with a 1.5°C pathway by the end of 2023. With these bold steps, the Church of England sends a clear message that it refuses to compromise on its commitment to combat climate change.

Alan Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner, sternly warned of the dire consequences faced by those companies clinging desperately to their oil reserves. He emphasized the risk of catastrophic failure for humanity and the myopic perspective of companies unable to grasp the need for change. Smith remarked, Those companies frantically clinging to the last drops of oil refusing to change course, incapable of seeing the different future… [they] will be left behind as the world transitions to a low-carbon future.”

This decision to divest from oil and gas was not made lightly. The Church Commissioners acknowledged the lack of response from energy majors, their disregard for societal and market voices, and their sluggishness in transitioning to a sustainable future. However, they expressed a glimmer of hope, stating that if any energy company aligns with their criteria in the future, the Church would reconsider its position. One can only hope that such a change of heart becomes a reality.

Shell, predictably disappointed by the Church’s principled stance, attempted to save face by expressing its unwavering commitment to becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. Yet, their vague promises and hollow statements do little to conceal the reality of their actions. Shell’s recent decision to allocate a larger portion of its spending to oil and gas, while limiting investments in renewable energy projects, speaks volumes about their true intentions. Their strategy has been aptly described as “catastrophic” by climate activists, who rightly question how Shell plans to eliminate emissions while doubling down on fossil fuels.

The Church of England’s divestment is a powerful rebuke to the fossil fuel industry. It demonstrates that morality and environmental stewardship take precedence over short-term profit maximization. The Church’s unwavering commitment to climate justice sets an inspiring example for other institutions and individuals around the world. It is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to protect our planet and strive for a sustainable, low-carbon future.

Shell has a track record of putting profits first, before any other consideration. In other words, money before ethics. This is after all the company that financially supported Hitler and the Nazis.  Google “Shell Nazi History”.

Right of Reply: Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis.

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