The Archbishop of Canterbury says he supports measures to force fossil fuel companies to stop drilling for new oil and gas.
Most Rev Justin Welby was speaking to members of the campaign group Christian Climate Action during a fringe meeting at the Church of England’s General Synod in York.
He told Val King, a member of CCA : “Fossil fuel companies will not stop extracting unless there is a strong disincentive such as a carbon tax.”
The Archbishop is a former oil executive having worked for 11 years with the French company Elf Aquitaine and as treasurer of oil exploration group Enterprise Oil.
Ms King said : “It’s revealing that someone who knows the oil and gas industry as well as Archbishop Welby is pointing out that Government intervention is needed for these companies to stop their destructive activity. Introducing a carbon tax would be an obvious way to dis-incentivise the ongoing extraction and burning of fossil fuels which is driving the climate crisis.”
Last month the Church of England divested its holdings in all fossil fuel companies in a drive to become more sustainable and align their operations with the Paris Agreement. In 2021 the International Energy Agency warned that to keep global heating to below the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement, no new fossil fuel reserves could be explored for and developed.