The Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, London, sold its holdings in three oil companies and excluded seven additional energy firms from future investment.
The board and its subsidiary firm, Epworth Investment Management, invest about £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) on behalf of Methodist and non-Methodist churches and charities in the U.K.
The board said Tuesday it had sold its just over £15 million holding in BP and just over £2 million in Total, with both divestments made on climate change grounds. BP was sold last week and Total was sold two months ago, a spokesman for the CFB said.
Although BP has recently made a new commitment to reduce indirect — or Scope 3 — carbon emissions by 2050, "it has yet to provide details of how this commitment would be met," a news release said.
While Total has since made a new emissions commitment, "both companies rated amber in (the CFB's assessment) partly due to their current output and the carbon emissions assessment," the release said.
The board also sold out of an investment in ARC Resources over the last month. The holding was "very small" and part of a wider portfolio that was externally managed, the spokesman said.
The CFB excluded BP, Total and Arc and seven other oil and gas companies from future investment: Chevron, Woodside, Gazprom, Hess, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and EOG Resources. It said it did not hold these stocks.
The board said it holds and is reviewing investments in four companies: Repsol, ENI, Royal Dutch Shell and Equinor, and wants "more radical change from them soon to address the climate emergency." Engagement with these companies will be assessed in a few weeks.
Finally, the CFB said a review is required before it makes any investment in oil and gas firm OMV. It does not hold company stock and has not excluded it.
The exclusion and divestment decisions were made following new analysis of the 15 companies. The CFB's investment team used 25 metrics for assessment of the companies, including future investment plans, and track records and targets related to reducing carbon emissions.
Climate change has been factored into CFB's investment policies for more than a decade, with a number of exclusions already in place regarding oil, gas and mining companies. It also has an engagement program in place, working with companies to encourage them to do more to respond to climate change-issues, such as co-filing shareholder resolutions.
"The CFB and Epworth now exclude from investment most of the oil and gas companies in the equity market," Stephen Beer, CFB chief investment officer, said in the release. "The handful of companies we hold are on notice that even recent new commitments do not go far enough or reflect the urgency of the threat facing our planet."