Church of England to reconsider its shares in TotalEnergies in the face of Ukraine’s inaction | Energy industry

The Church of England is pressuring French energy giant TotalEnergies over its decision not to cut ties with Russia after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

The church’s pensions board and the manager of its investment fund said they would reconsider their stake in the business.

In a joint letter to Patrick Pouyanné, the chief executive of TotalEnergies, the pensions board and the Church Commissioners for England said the company should urgently reconsider its position.

The letter pointed out that while TotalEnergies condemned Russian aggression, it did not follow many of its energy peers, such as BP and Shell, in withdrawing from Russia.

In February, the Church of England announced that it had sold all £20m of investments in Russian companies in response to what the Archbishops of Canterbury and York described as Vladimir Putin’s “evil act” in Ukraine.

The Church Commissioners manage a £9.2 billion investment fund while the Pensions Board manages a fund worth £3.7 billion.

It was not immediately clear what share of Church funds was in TotalEnergies, which did not respond to a request for comment.

The joint letter follows two French non-governmental organizations – Greenpeace and Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth) France – saying they plan to take legal action against TotalEnergies over possible human rights violations. man unless she breaks her commercial relations with Russia.

Russia accounted for almost a quarter of TotalEnergies’ reserves and 17% of its combined oil and gas production in 2020, according to company documents.

Activist investor Clearway Capital has also written to the board of TotalEnergies asking it to exit its Russian operations following the invasion of Ukraine.