As COP26 comes to a conclusion in Glasgow this weekend, the Diocese of Durham, the Church of England between the Tyne and the Tees, has pledged not to invest in companies making significant revenues from fossil fuels.

At a meeting today (Saturday), Durham’s Diocesan Synod unanimously voted to:

  • note the commitment of the Church of England’s General Synod to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030;
  • acknowledge the existence of a climate emergency;
  • resolve to develop its response to this emergency through its ‘Care for God’s Creation’ priority;
  • resolve to support its investment managers in taking further steps towards net zero 2030, commending their policy of divestment from fossil fuel companies; and
  • resolve not to invest in companies with significant revenues arising from fossil fuels in future.

James Morgan, Durham’s Diocesan Secretary, said: “As we have heard from COP26, we are facing a climate emergency and it’s up to all of us to do what we can to protect this planet for future generations. Where we invest funds as a Diocese, we will be making sure they are not invested in companies profiting significantly from the extraction of fossil fuels, whether it be oil, gas or coal.” 

The motion put before Durham’s Diocesan Synod was developed by the Diocese’s Environmental Champions in conjuction with St Nic’s Church, Durham. The Revd Arun Arora said: “As talks conclude at COP26, the message to think globally and act locally has never been more relevant. The adoption of this motion is a small step in the wider commitment to act for climate justice in our churches and communities.” 

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager for Operation Noah, said: “It is wonderful news that the Diocese of Durham has decided to divest from fossil fuel companies. This is a significant step on the final day of COP26, as voices from marginalised communities call for climate justice and no new fossil fuel exploration and extraction. We thank St Nic’s Durham and all involved for their leadership. We hope this decision will inspire many other Church of England dioceses to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions.” 

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