Methodist Church using investments to fight climate change

The Methodist Church's investment arm has outlined how itsinvestments reflect Methodist teaching on the environment and takeforward the fight against climate change. It aims to 'create andmanage portfolios with a carbon footprint that is relatively lowand measurably declining.'

'The new policy explains how we will encourage companies to limitand reduce greenhouse gas emissions,' said Bill Seddon, ChiefExecutive of the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church. 'Wewill also look for better disclosure of emissions, including thoseproduced from a company's supply chains.'

The policy builds on the CFB's work on climate change over manyyears. It has long been a signatory of the Climate DisclosureProject, is a founder member of the Institutional Investor Group onClimate Change and works with other churches through the ChurchInvestors Group. It regularly asks companies to disclose greenhousegas emissions. 'We are now looking for action to accelerate thereduction of those emissions,' said Mr Seddon.

The new policy helps to integrate church investing with churchteaching, most recently expressed in a report entitled 'Hope inGod's future'.

Steve Hucklesby, Methodist Church Policy Adviser, welcomed theCFB's approach: 'We are delighted that the CFB has adopted thispolicy. Climate change threatens to cause irreversible damage tothe planet's eco-system causing suffering to millions of peopleover the coming decades. It is vital that governments commit tomassively reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the CopenhagenSummit, but we should not just leave it to them. We can all play apart and companies also have a responsibility to act. With thispolicy, the church will also be making its voice heard inboardrooms.'

Tackling climate change issues through an investment policy willnot always be straightforward. 'We know we will not always get itright,' said Mr Seddon, 'but the Methodist Church will always seekto act as a responsible investor.'


Ben Bradley, a member of the Methodist Church Connexional Team, isone of a group of cyclists riding to the Copenhagen summit. You canfollow his progress on his weblog here.