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Australian dioceses join divestment campaign

The Perth and Canberra diocesan synods of the Anglican Church of Australia have voted to exclude coal, oil and gas companies from their investment portfolios as a sign of their commitment to fighting climate change. The two Australian dioceses divestment vote follows similar decisions made by five New Zealand Anglican dioceses, the Church of Sweden, and other church related institutes. “The Anglican Church of Australia views climate change as a deeply moral issue. A statement released after the Canberra synod vote on 11 Oct 2014 read: “The Diocese accepts that it is both ethical and responsible to divest from fossil fuel stocks.  The concerns of the Church about the social justice issues of climate change, due to fossil fuel consumption, will also be communicated to other relevant companies in the Diocesan portfolio. … Our local action is part of an accelerating global movement that is underpinning expressions of concern about climate change with divestment action.” However, Richard Burridge, deputy chairman of the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group told the Financial News last week that “no view had yet been taken”, but said that “from discussions to date” a recommendation to disinvest energy stocks from the Church’s £9 billion in funds “seems unlikely”.

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