How does the Church of England decide whether investment in fossil fuels is ‘ethical’?

Bishop David in study
Bishop David Atkinson

Bishop David Atkinson has been very active on environmental matters in recent years. He was on the Board of Operation Noah, but has now retired from that post. The attached paper is a contribution he made to Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign about disinvestment from fossil fuels. This divestment movement was started by Bill McKibben and 350.org in the United States, but has spread to become an international movement. Essentially the movement is saying that organisations should get rid of their investments in fossil fuels to take a moral stance. If burning fossil fuels is bad for the planet and for the poorest people in the world should we continue to invest in them? Recent high profile organisations that have divested include the British Medical Association and the World Council of Churches. The Church of England has yet to decide, and Bishop David’s paper is his personal view on the issue. Although the PAPER is posted on the Bright Now web site, neither Operation Noah nor their Bright Now campaign is responsible for the views expressed in his paper.  Similarly, the John Ray Initiative has no firm opinions yet on divestment, but we post the paper to help foster the debate. DOWNLOAD