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The disinvestment debate

In the second part of the debate, Brian Duffin explains the position of the Investors Trust and outlines what climate change means for the Church’s investments.

THE Church of Scotland Investors Trust manages the investments held centrally and by individual congregations. The Trustees oversee the investments in their own time as unpaid professionals. We care passionately about the climate change emergency and support the framework of the 2015 Paris Agreement, particularly the stronger target of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5% in 2050.

The trustees do not believe that disinvesting indiscriminately from fossil fuel companies is the best way to force the transformations in corporate behaviour needed to address the catastrophic effect of climate change. Why weaken a lobby group which is working?

The fundamental cause of climate change is rising greenhouse gas levels, due to our greater use of fossil fuels and a surging world population. Richer countries (like Scotland) burn more fuel per head, partly because we have higher incomes but also because we have outsourced heavy industries to developing nations yet we still buy their steel and other goods to make our lives more comfortable. Clearly, half our challenge is to find ways to cut down on our own total consumption of fossil energy while the other half is to develop alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels.

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IN THIS ISSUE GOD AND TAXES The morality of taxation 'I REALLY LOVE MY CHURCH COMMUNITY' Former MEP Catherine Stihler talks about faith CELEBRATING THE GUILD Annual Gathering and Guild Week And much more....