National Trust to divest £1bn portfolio from fossil fuels

(The Guardian, 4 Jul 2019) Move by heritage body follows revelations last year about oil and gas investments.

The National Trust is divesting its £1bn portfolio from fossil fuels in an attempt to help tackle the escalating climate crisis.

The organisation, which looks after 780 miles (1,250km) of coastline, 248,000 hectares (612,000 acres) of land and more than 500 historic houses, castles, monuments and parks, said it would withdraw the vast majority of its investments from fossil fuels within 12 months, and the entirety within three years.

A Guardian investigation last year revealed the trust had invested tens of millions of pounds in oil, gas and mining companies, despite having previously pledged to cut down its own use of fossil fuels and warning about the impact of climate change.

Hilary McGrady, the director general of the trust, said returns from its investments were vital to allow the organisation to “care for special places across the nation”.

But she added in the announcement on Wednesday: “The impacts of climate change pose the biggest long-term threat to the land and properties we care for, and tackling this is a huge challenge for the whole nation.

“We know our members and supporters are eager to see us do everything we can to protect and nurture the natural environment for future generations.”

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The Guardian, 4 Jul 2019: National Trust to divest £1bn portfolio from fossil fuels