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In response to the 21 February articles in The Guardian (‘Concern over Church of England pension board fossil fuel industry links’) and DeSmog (‘Church of England Fossil Fuel Ties Revealed Amid Divestment Dispute’), Operation Noah has issued the following statement from Revd Dr Darrell Hannah, Operation Noah’s Chair of Trustees:
‘We are deeply concerned by the Church of England National Investing Bodies’ ties to the fossil fuel industry, which raise significant questions around conflicts of interest. How can the CofE Pensions Board continue to lead engagement with Shell on behalf of Climate Action 100+, when the Chair of the Pensions Board is the former CEO of Shell Canada? And why did the Pensions Board support Shell’s energy transition plan, which includes a 20% gas production increase in the next few years?’
‘Christians with strong financial ties to high-polluting companies are clearly compromised in taking the urgent action now needed against those companies. We urge Clive Mather and others to reconsider their position.’
–Revd Dr Darrell Hannah, Chair of Trustees & Rector of All Saints Church, Ascot
Operation Noah has consistently called on the Church of England to divest from all fossil fuels, and did so again in January 2022, partnering with Green Anglicans to write an article for the Church Times, calling on the Church to honour the legacy of Archbishop Desmond Tutu – an early advocate of fossil fuel divestment – as well as to recognise the human rights abuses and destruction perpetuated by fossil fuel companies, and stop ‘faithwashing’ fossil fuel firms.