Tutu foundation urges ‘fossil fuel-free ethical investment vehicle’

06 April 2016 - 13:01 By TMG Digital


The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on Wednesday said it wants the Anglican Church of Southern Africa to lead the lobby for “divestment from fossil fuel and investing in renewable energy”. This‚ the foundation said‚ should be done through the creation of “a new breed of ethical investment vehicle devoid of fossil fuel‚ mining‚ tobacco and alcohol components”.According to a proposal by the foundation’s executive director‚ the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu:“There were unequivocal links between carbon emissions and global warming;“Southern Africa is warming at twice the global average;“The consequent extreme weather events most acutely impact poor people; and“Fossil fuel companies had not heeded a growing clamour from churches‚ universities‚ environmentalists and non-profit organisations for a shift to sustainable technologies.”The foundation noted that the “financial sector presently didn't offer investment funds meeting strict fossil free criteria”‚ but rather “most ‘responsible investment’ options simply overlaid traditional indices with an environmental‚ social and governance (ESG) analysis”.“ESG analyses don’t exclude companies‚ but weight them according to their ESG performance‚” the foundation statement said.“It is therefore possible for oil (or tobacco‚ or alcohol) companies that perform well on ESG factors to be included in responsible investment funds. There presently didn't appear to be any products that could certify they were fossil-free.“Encouraging fund managers to compile certified ethical portfolios would have the knock-on benefit of encouraging fossil fuel companies to speed up the transformation to renewable energy – creating localised jobs‚ healthier communities‚ and contributing towards the protection of the earth for the future.”

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