Church of England funds urge TotalEnergies to leave Russia

The logo of French oil and gas company TotalEnergies is pictured at an electric car charging station and a gas station in the financial and business district of La Defense in Courbevoie near Paris, France, June 22, 2021. REUTERS /Gonzalo Fuentes

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March 15 (Reuters) – The Church of England Pensions Board and the manager of the Church’s investment fund said on Tuesday they would reconsider their stake in French energy giant TotalEnergies (TTEF. PA) following the company’s decision not to sever business relations with Russia. .

In a joint letter to energy major chief executive Patrick Pouyanne, the Pensions Board and Church Commissioners for England asked TotalEnergies to urgently reconsider its decision, noting that it contradicted the actions taken by many of his peers.

TotalEnergies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The company condemned Russian aggression, but did not follow the example of its British peers BP and Shell (SHEL.L), which are both withdrawing from Russia. Read more

It was not immediately clear what share of church funds was in TotalEnergies. They did not respond to requests for comment on the issue.

The church’s letter comes after two French NGOs – Greenpeace France and Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth) France – said they planned to take legal action against TotalEnergies over possible violations of the human rights unless it sever its commercial ties with Russia. Read more

Russia accounted for 24% of TotalEnergies’ proven 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 cease operations in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Read more

(This story has been reclassified to correct reporting credit.)

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Reporting by Sneha Bhowmik and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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Jerry B. Hatch