The Baptist Union Council has overwhelmingly passed a resolution that would see the organisation abstain from investing funds in companies that have significant trade in fossil fuel extraction, refining and distribution.
It follows a previous resolution to divest from coal and tar sands in March 2019. Given their commitment to respond to the environmental and climate crisis, they wanted to bring forward another policy that would be seen as a practical commitment towards climate justice ahead of the UN's Climate Conference being hosted in Glasgow in November.
The proposal was brought by Rev Dr Dave Gregory, Convenor of the Baptist Union's Environmental Network, and was co-authored by John Levick, the Baptist Union's Treasurer. It passed with a 98 per cent majority.
After the vote, Rev Dr Gregory, a former meteorologist at the Met Office and the European Weather Centre, said: "It was inspiring to hear so many voices from across the generations and different parts of the Baptist Together family recognising the importance of the decision to divest from fossil fuels, and agreeing that this was the way we need to walk with Jesus together in the face of the climate and environmental crisis which for many in our world is an immediate climate emergency."
The Baptist Union of Great Britain comprises around 2,000 Baptist churches divided in 13 regional associations.
James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, said: "We are delighted that the Baptist Union has decided to divest from fossil fuels. As the UK prepares to host COP26, the Baptist Union's leadership and support for a just and green recovery is hugely welcome. Of the total of more than 1,300 organisations contributing to the global divestment movement, 450 are faith-based institutions."