National Trust announces fossil fuel divestment

The National Trust has tightened its stance on divestment, and whereas it had previously required that no investment be made directly in companies which derived more than 10 per cent of their turnover from the extraction of thermal coal or oil from oil sands.

Now the conservation charity will divest from all fossil fuel companies within the next three years and additionally attempt to create reduction to the carbon footprint of the investment portfolio. It will also attempt to engage with companies to encourage them to make material improvements in their environmental performance and actively seek out green start-up businesses

Peter Vermeulen, the charity’s CFO said: “Many organisations have been working hard to persuade fossil fuel companies to invest in green alternatives. These companies have made insufficient progress and now we have decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.”

The Trust is Europe’s largest conservation charity and looks after 780 miles of coastline, 248,000 hectares of land and over 500 historic houses, castles, monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves. 43 per cent of all rainwater in England, Wales and Northern Ireland drains through National Trust places.

Mr Vermeulen concluded: “We want to protect the environment by becoming more energy efficient. In the last four years, we’ve created our own green heat and power through the design and build of heat pumps, hydro schemes, solar PV and wood fuel boilers.”

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