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How FBAOs engage, advocate and divest from fossil fuels: it's not one size fits all

One of the faith-based asset owners (FBAOs) we work with asked us to provide them with examples on how they could engage with and advocate for their beliefs, teachings and values in their energy investments. We took this as an opportunity to scan our Investment Policy & Guidelines (IP&G) database for examples on how other FBAOs manage the challenge of fossil fuels. We found that there were a variety of methods that other faith groups employed, varying from active ownership with engagement to complete divestment.

One faith organisation believes in the 'use[age] of policy instruments regarding coal and petroleum companies'. Stating that, 'our impression is that active ownership in order to push companies in a more pro-environment direction demands more resources than simply divestment'.

This contrasts with a different faith group, who after 'several years of engage[ment]', decided that, 'In February of this year the exposure to Oil and Gas was eliminated completely and… agreed that future investment in an Oil and Gas company will only occur if there is good evidence that the company’s strategy is aligned with [a] tighter Paris Agreement target'. A vastly different policy of being generally Oil & Gas free, investing only if certain parameters (e.g., adherence to the Paris Agreement) have previously been met.

This demonstrates how various methods and approaches can be used to exercise the specific beliefs and values — and priorities — of individual faith groups.

For more insight on the divestment issue, our previous posts on divestment vs engagement and divestment vs net-zero pathway, outline various research. MIT’s investment management company also outline their approach and their plan to achieve net-zero.

If you are interested in working with FaithInvest to receive tailored research or insights into how to be more faith-consistent with your ogranisation’s investments, please contact us here.


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