Presbyterian Church votes to tackle climate change

On its second day of business, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, voted to employ a ‘divest and engage’ strategy in relation to companies producing or using fossil fuels.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:32 pm
Rev Dr Liz Hughes addressing the General Assembly during the Fossil Fuel debate
Rev Dr Liz Hughes addressing the General Assembly during the Fossil Fuel debate

Focusing on PCI’s investment policies, the Council for Global Mission’s report stated: “The broad consensus of scientific thought supports the view that fossil fuel production contributes to climate change. It is therefore morally questionable to invest in companies deriving revenue from fossil fuels.”

Proposing the resolution to ‘divest and engage’, Council for Global Mission Convener, Rev Dr Liz Hughes said that the Council was asking the General Assembly to adopt a twin track approach: “We are very appreciative of the report the Trustees, who produced their report in response to our original request. We have noted their options but as you can see, we are suggesting a twin track approach – to both divest and to engage.”

In passing the resolution, the General Assembly agreed to “direct the Trustees to employ a ‘divest and engage’ strategy in relation to companies producing or using fossil fuels, thereby divesting from those that derive more that 10% of their turnover from oil and gas extraction (the coal, oil and gas majors), and engaging with companies that derive more than 10% of their turnover from the use of fossil fuels encouraging them to make clear commitments to the targets for global heating and carbon emission reduction as set out in the COP 21 Paris Agreement; reporting back to the 2022 General Assembly.”