The Church of Ireland is to complete its divestment from companies that extract fossil fuels by the end of this year, fulfilling a commitment made in 2018.
Several church groups and individual churches have decided to stop investing in fossil fuels completely in recent years, including specific dioceses in the Church of England, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodists Church and the Church of Scotland.
At the Church of Ireland's General Synod three years ago, it agreed to exclude from its investments companies where more than 10 per cent of their turnover is derived from fossil fuel extraction by 2022.
Fossil fuels cause pollution by releasing carbon dioxide, which leads to heat being trapped in the earth's atmosphere. Many churches invest their assets in companies but several are deciding to remove their investment from companies that contribute to climate change.
The Representative Church Body (RCB), which holds property and manages investments on behalf of the Church of Ireland, says it is seeking to lower the Church's climate change impact by investing in wind and solar energy and forestry, applying restrictions on investing in coal mining and tar sands and divesting from others.