The Board of Finance for the Diocese of Sodor and Man (DBF) announced at its meeting on Monday 19th July that it had divested from fossil fuel companies and voted to commit to its investments remaining free of holdings in coal, oil and gas in future.
This is part of a strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030, agreed by Diocesan Synod on the 2nd March 2020 (further information) and by the General Synod in February 2020 (representing the 16,000 churches of the Church of England).
“Care for Creation is central to the teaching of the Christian Church, and this commitment takes us on one further step to achieving our aim of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in October, it makes this announcement even more poignant”, commented The Rt Rev.Peter Eagles, Bishop of Sodor and Man.
The DBF has divested its investments from any company that derives more than 10% of its revenue from the extraction, production and/or refining of coal, oil and gas. The divestment methodology applied was developed by the Eiris Foundation.
“This small step on the back of a bold decision gives me great hope: I’ve waited impatiently for 35 years. These may be uncertain times, but also very exciting times”, added Dr Henry Uniacke, Diocesan Environmental Advisor.
The Diocese of Sodor and Man is one of the most longstanding institutions on the Isle of Man, and one of the ancient Celtic dioceses of the Christian Church in the British Isles. Within the Church of England, its commitment to divestment follows on from recent announcements to the same effect by the Dioceses of Bristol and Oxford.