1. ITV Report

Protestors urge Church to sell shares in ExxonMobil as climate change vote due

Campaigners protest outside Fawley All Saints Church Photo: Salisbury Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

Campaigners are protesting outside Fawley All Saints Church urging the Church of England to divest from ExxonMobil.

A coalition of faith and non-faith groups are demonstrating ahead of a vigil outside Salisbury Cathedral this afternoon.

A letter will also be handed to the office of the Bishop of Salisbury detailing the request.

They say the Church of England should cut its ties with the company and sell its shares.

It comes at the same time a vote is taken at ExxonMobil's AGM in Houston, America on climate change.

The company says they are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are playing their part.

When the Church should be showing moral leadership to protect the millions of lives devastated every year by climate change, they're being taken for a ride by the very company causing the problem. By continuing to hope that ExxonMobil is going to change its stripes, the Church of England is buying cover for one of the most notorious companies blocking action on climate change." "The Church of England needs to wake up, follow the example of hundreds of other faith leaders around the world and cut its ties with these companies. The church should be filling the moral void created by these companies, not falling into it."

– Ruth Jarman, Church of England member
Credit: Salisbury Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

ExxonMobil has the same concerns as people everywhere – how to provide the world with the energy it needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The risk of climate change is clear and warrants action. We are taking action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, helping consumers reduce their emissions, supporting research and participating in constructive dialogue on policy options."

"We are pursuing technology solutions with leading scientists in industry, academia and nongovernmental institutions. Since 2000 we have invested more than $8 billion on lower-emissions initiatives such as energy efficiency, cogeneration, flare reduction, carbon capture and sequestration and research into next-generation biofuels."

– ExxonMobil spokesperson
Credit: Salisbury Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

We have also supported development of climate science in partnership with governments and academic institutions for several decades. That work is conducted in an open and transparent way, and includes climate modelling at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and development and commercialisation of lower-emission solutions at Stanford University. Our scientists have participated in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its inception in 1988 and have been selected by the IPCC as authors for the past four major assessment reports."

– ExxonMobil spokesperson
Credit: Salisbury Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

More recently we have been vocal in our support of the Paris Accord, which was an important step by governments in addressing the serious risks of climate change."

"The global challenge posed by climate change is both economic and environmental, and there is no single or simple solution. Every segment of society – industry, universities, governments, NGOs and consumers – must play a role. At ExxonMobil we are playing our part."

"Those who call for divestment simply detract from the real work of searching for solutions to the dual challenge of addressing climate change risks and providing the energy that the world’s economy needs."

– ExxonMobil spokesperson