URC’s Wessex Synod divests from fossil fuel companies

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Planet B news bannerThe Wessex Synod of the United Reformed Church (URC) has joined a growing number of organisations in divesting shares from fossil fuel energy companies.

The move, announced on 27 July, is in line with policy approved at the URC’s May meeting of Mission Council where the Church unanimously approved a proposal to divest from fossil fuel companies.  

URC Wessex Trust Limited, which manages the Synod’s financial funds and investments, has now transferred a significant proportion of its funds to the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation’s Sustainable Global Equity Income Fund.

This fund is managed by Newton Investment Management having met its sustainability criteria and follows similar investment principles to the URC’s Ministers’ Pension Fund.

The Revd Julian Macro, Chair of the URC Wessex Trust Ltd’s investment committee, said: “We discuss the shares in the funds we hold with the fund’s managers annually and encourage the highest sustainable, environmental, and governance standards.

“Our increased concern about the climate crisis led to the decision that we should move away from funds holding shares in fossil fuel companies and comparable businesses.”

The Synod retains its holding in the COIF Charities Ethical Fund, which will become fully compliant with URC policy within the next few months.

Wessex Synod now joins the Yorkshire Synod and and the National Synod of Scotland in divesting.


Picture: A protestor holding a sign, reading 'there's no planet B', at The Time Is Now mass climate lobby in Westminster on 26 June 2019.
Published: 5 August 2019

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