Join us: Church House, Wednesday 26 May, 2:30pm
On 26 May, the day of the Exxon AGM, Christian Climate Action will be asking and praying for the Church Commissioners of England to ‘exit Exxon’ and divest from all fossil fuels immediately.
Prayer action is happening outside Church House at 2.30pm on Wednesday 26 May, just before the Exxon Mobile AGM, to pray for the Church Commissioners to divest from Exxon Mobile and to invest instead in funds that promote the common good. All are welcome.
Church-goers outside London are being encouraged to silently meditate outside their local Anglican parish churches, publicly calling for the Church to ‘exit Exxon’. Posters and leaflets to explain the vigil are available to download and print.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
- It is morally wrong to invest in the decimation of creation.
- In July 2018, the Synod agreed to divest unless certain conditions were met. They have not been met (see more information below).
- The reason the Church gives for investment is that by engaging with the oil companies they are helping transform society, yet Exxon Mobile has consistently blocked shareholder resolutions calling for climate action and is planning to spend tens of billions of dollars on new oil and gas exploration and extraction
- General Synod, February 2020, agreed that the Church would reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Although not legally bound by this decision, we would have expected that the Church Commissioners would understand that General Synod was expressing the will of the Church and that this will should be reflected in the decisions made by the Church Commissioners.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED
- Sign the 38 degrees petition
- Come to the prayer action on Wednesday 26th May, 2:30pm
- Let us know you are coming so we can make you an Exit Exxon placard
- Bring cushion/kneeler/etc so you can sit in silent vigil for 20 mins
- Meet at Wash House Cafe, Abbey Centre, Great Peters Street at 2pm
- Outside London? Print these posters and leaflets to explain what you are doing and sit in silent prayer outside your local Church of England church
- Write your own letter to the Church Commissioners based on the ‘why’ points above or/and our open letter, with more details below. Post it to:
Church Commissioners for England
31 Great Smith Street
WHAT DID THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND SYNOD AGREE TO DO?
In July 2018, the Synod agreed:
‘to divest by 2023 from oil and gas companies not on track to meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting global average temperature rise to well below 2°C’ and that that the Church would begin in 2020 to divest from companies ‘not taking seriously their responsibilities to assist with the transition to a low carbon economy’.
There is not a shadow of a doubt that Exxon Mobile is not taking seriously their responsibilities to assist with the transition to a low carbon economy. Even the Church of England Pensions Board agrees with us and sold all their holdings of Exxon Mobile in October last year because the oil giant failed to set goals to reduce emissions produced by its customers.
WE HAVE TO STOP DIGGING
Last week the IEA said, “if governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.”
Yet Exxon Mobile plans to spend $120 billion on new oil and gas in the next 5 years.
Exxon Mobile’s own assessment of its $210 billion investment strategy shows yearly emissions rising 17% by 2025, according to internal projections.
OTHER REASONS TO EXIT EXXON
- Exxon Mobile is the world’s 5th largest independent source of greenhouse gas emissions
- Exxon Mobile is unrepentant about its decades-long climate deception and denial
- The Church Commissioners’ position is increasingly a position of exposure to risk as others pull out. Also our credibility is marginalised and at odds with other faith groups as they divest, e.g. 36 faith institutions announced divestment last week
- Exxon Mobile has been accused of humanitarian abuses, workers rights issues, and association with the military, along with major evidence of environmental damage
CALL OFF THE ENGAGEMENT!
The Church Commissioners’ engagement with Exxon Mobile currently comprises supporting an ESG-focused fund, Engine No.1, which nominated four alternative directors to the board with experience in energy transition and innovation. Whether or not these directors are voted in at the AGM we say it is time to call off the engagement with Exxon Mobile and divest.
The Exxon Mobile AGM is 9.30am Central Time on 26 May, which is 3.30pm in the UK.
To find out more about how oil companies are ‘Paris defiant’ see the following report produced by Operation Noah and Bright Now: Church investments in major oil companies: Paris compliant or Paris defiant?