Friday, February 26, 2016
Anglican Diocese of Quebec fully Divested from Fossil Fuels
Some aspects of the Governance of the Diocese of Québec differ from that of most or all other dioceses because of its time and place in pre-Confederation history. Within this Diocese, responsibility for investments rests within the mandate of an entity called Church Society of the Diocese of Québec. Church Society exercises this part of its role through an Investment Committee of professionals who volunteer their time and expertise.
Following the direction of motions passed at the annual general meeting of Church Society, the Investment Committee began four years ago to divest from its mining holdings, given the serious ethical concerns raised around environmental and human rights issues.
In 2014 a motion passed at the Church Society called on the Investment Committee to review its fossil fuel holdings and present back to Church Society. During that year, extensive documentation on the impacts of fossil fuel exploration, extraction, transformation and transportation were forwarded to the chair of the Investment Committee, Central Board (which governs Church Society) and the Diocesan Executive Council. Documents collected came from such diverse sources as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Governor of the Bank of England, World Council of Churches, The Anglican Consultative Communion and the writings of Pope Francis. (This is but a small sampling of the total research made available from international and national environmental, financial and church bodies.)
At Church Society’s annual general meeting of 2015 Diocesan Bishop Dennis Drainville, President of Church Society, issued a letter in follow up to the various motions, review of holdings and research.
On 23 September 2015, the Investment Committee of the Diocese of Québec was pleased to report that divestment from fossil fuels and mineral extraction was almost complete.
On 23 November 2015, the Investment Committee was able to provide the details of the divestment process: Over the past 4 years, $525,000 dollars in gold and copper mining operations have been divested. Over the past 2 years, $1.4 million dollars in oil and gas have been divested. $320,000 remain in fossil fuels as that financial instrument has not reached maturity. By year end, the committee expects to be 100% divested.
On 26 November 2015 Bishop Drainville shared this good news within his charge to Synod. The Diocese will continue work on this critical issue as part of its commitment to the Fifth Mark of Mission.
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350.org Coverage of the Divestment Motion in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal
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Divestment and Reinvestment Resource: Fossil Free Faith