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ExxonMobil: Climate Change Policies

Volume 609: debated on Thursday 5 May 2016

6. What the purpose is of the resolution co-filed by the Church Commissioners to commission ExxonMobil to carry out an impact assessment on the effect of climate change policies on that company’s portfolio and strategy. (904805)

The Commissioners have co-filed a resolution with the New York State Common Retirement Fund so that ExxonMobil’s shareholders can indicate to the company their wish to see better corporate reporting on the long-term risks that the transition to a low-carbon economy presents to Exxon. This includes a scenario in which the implementation of the Paris agreement restricts warming to below 2°C.

Before they are too critical of the oil companies, may I suggest that the Church of England Commissioners read the Bible—Matthew 25, the parable of the oil lamps and the 10 virgins—and remember that it was the five virgins who lived happily ever after and who had a cheap and ready supply of this much-maligned fossil fuel?

My hon. Friend and I perhaps do not share the same interpretation of the Bible when it comes to belief in climate change as a phenomenon. When I shortly visit the diocese of the Arctic, I shall have very much in mind the recent news that the British research station is in danger of sinking into the sea, as was shown in a documentary on television last night. Will my hon. Friend recognise that the Church Commissioners have been commended with a number of prizes for their work on an ethical investment strategy, which includes taking account of the risk that climate change poses to investments?