Methodist Church moves towards divestment from oil and gas companies

(Photo: Unsplash/Chris Liverani)

The Methodist Church is to consider divestment from all oil and gas companies "not currently aligned with the Paris Agreement". 

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, commits UN member states to keeping a global temperature rise this century to below 2C above pre-industrial levels, and to helping countries mitigate the impact of climate change. 

The Methodist Council on Monday voted to request that its investment advisory body make a formal recommendation of divestment to the Church's Central Finance Board (CFB).

The CFB handles all investment funds for the Methodist Church and receives ethical advice from the investment advisory body, which reports each year to the Methodist Conference. 

The Council wants the investment advisory body to recommend to the CFB that it divests from all oil and gas companies that are not aligned with the Paris Agreement's target temperature rise of 2C. 

The Rev Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference, said: "The focus on climate ethics has been at the heart of the environmental work of the Church and the CFB for over a decade and this decision further reflects our joint commitment for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency."

The Methodist Council also voted in favour of further work towards reducing the carbon footprint of the Church.