The Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church (CFB) has sold its remaining oil and gas investments.
The sale of these investments comes after the Methodist Church’s Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics of Investment (JACEI) advised in April 2021 that no company in the oil and gas sector is currently aligned with the climate change targets set out by the 2015 Paris Accord.
In June 2020, CFB sold just over £15m in BP and just over £2m in Total. At that time, it was still invested in four oil companies – ENI, Equinor, Repsol and Royal Dutch Shell.
Revd Dr Stephen Wigley, chair of JACEI, said: “The committee has determined that the slow pace of corporate change means that the oil and gas sector is failing to meet the targets set by the Paris Accord. Shell, along with its peers, is currently failing to play a substantial enough role in addressing the climate emergency.”
As a result of the CFB’s decision, Epworth Investment Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of CFB which invests on behalf of charities and churches, has also divested all its oil and gas holdings.
David Palmer, chief executive of Epworth, said the pace of change within the oil and gas sector was “inadequate” and that he welcomed the decision to disinvest.