Church of Ireland to divest from fossil fuel extraction by 2022

Commitment originally made by General Synod in 2018

The Church of Ireland is to complete its divestment from companies that extract fossil fuels by the end of this year.

Companies where more than 10 per cent of turnover is derived from fossil fuel extraction will be excluded from investments made by the Representative Church Body (RCB).

The commitment was originally made by the governing body of the Church of Ireland, the General Synod, in 2018 which set a target date of 2022 for divestment from fossil fuel extraction

The church’s annual General Synod is taking place online until Saturday and is due to fulfil the commitment.


The Church of Ireland said through its climate change policy, the RCB seeks to mitigate and lower the climate change impact within its investment portfolios and “has taken several steps in this regard over the past number of years”.

This includes collaborative engagement, investments in wind and solar energy and forestry, the implementation of restrictions for investments in coal mining and tar sands, and several disposals and divestments, it said.

"The policy relates to direct investments and exposure via acquisition and/or takeovers is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the RCB's Investment Committee, which will continue to monitor and review companies that appear not to be aligned with the long-term transition to a low-carbon economy and engage and/or divest as considered appropriate."

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times