Green candidate joins Exxon protest

1 June 2017

Green Party candidate for Salisbury, Brig Oubridge, joined with protestors yesterday in a vigil outside Salisbury Cathedral before delivering a letter to the Bishop of Salisbury, urging the Church of England to withdraw its investments from oil giant Exxon Mobil.

The Bishop produced a letter in reply seeking to justify the church's continuing investment on the grounds that it enabled the church, with others, to exert an influence on the company, and that oil would continue to be a major contributor to world energy consumption for the next 30 or 40 years.

The church's stance was partially justified that evening, when 62% of Exxon shareholders supported a resolution at its AGM in Texas forcing it to make public its own researches into the effects of climate change, although there would still have been a majority for this resolution without the C of E vote.

However, Brig Oubridge rejected any idea that the church should maintain its multi-million pound investment for the next 30 years. "We simply do not have that long to wait for change," he said.

"If we are to get anywhere near the target of restricting global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees, at least two thirds of known oil reserves have to be left in the ground. If we don't manage that, we will be sentencing future generations to accelerating runaway climate change. We are already seeing ominous signs in the melting polar icecaps, rapidly rising sea levels, and release of methane from the thawing tundra of Siberia and northern Canada."

This is the BBC South Today item on the protest.