BP’s new stance fails to impress

The Methodist Church has divested from BP and Total oil companies, despite BP’s recent attempts to present a more environmentally considerate policy.

Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church also excluded a further ten companies from any future investment and has put the handful of remaining oil and gas investments on notice that it is looking for more radical change from them soon to address the climate emergency.

Epworth Investment Management, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Central Finance Board, manages the £1bn of funds for the Church as well as an additionally providing services to other charities and the runs an extensive engagement programme to encourage companies to do more to respond to the climate emergency, including co-filing shareholder resolutions.

Stephen Beer, CFB CIO, said: “When the ethical concerns are material and change is too slow or not forthcoming, we will divest. That is what we have done with our BP and Total holdings. Oil and gas companies have been making new commitments on emissions this year, but while welcome they are still too little too late. Big changes are required. The Paris Agreement dates from2015 so they have had long enough and patience is wearing thin.”

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