archAfter the Church of Sweden’s new archbishop Antje Jackelen clearly endorsed fossil fuel divestment this summer, many have hoped that actual divestment would follow. And guess what, we were right!

In August, the Church of Sweden made the decision to divest all their holdings in fossil fuel companies.

The Church of Sweden, being perhaps the most ethically responsible Swedish institutional investor, had been expected to fully divest for quite some time as it was a matter of excluding just a couple of gas companies from their portfolio.

Having now left dirty gas companies such as BG Group (British Gas) behind, the CoS are making a clear statement that gas extraction has no place in a sustainable world.

”We do not want to own, and thereby fund, the extraction of fossil fuels. Instead we want to own and fund companies who stand for the solutions”, said Gunnela Hahn, Head of responsible investment at the Church of Sweden. ”What is more, fossil fuel companies are financially risky to deal with as their reserves may lose substantial value in a world where we aim for a maximum of 2 degrees global warming.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 22.01.21The Church of Sweden took a stand against coal and oil investments already a couple of years ago, and this deepening of commitment to a fossil free society from their side is important.

It could contribute to raising an issue that is on the horizon in Sweden: Gas companies are hoping to frack for gas on the Swedish countryside and on the island of Gotland. With institutions such as the CoS making a stand against gas companies, there is potential for the on-going gas discussions to be brought to an interesting new level.