The Church of Ireland is to complete its divestment from companies that extract fossil fuels by the end of this year.

This will fulfil a commitment made by the governing body three years ago.

In 2018, the General Synod agreed that companies - where more than 10% of turnover is derived from fossil fuel extraction - would be excluded from investments made by the Representative Church Body by 2022.

The exposure of unit trusts (through which it invests on behalf of parishes across the island) in 2011 to oil and gas producers was around 10% of the fund value according to a spokesperson.

The divestment process began in 2016, with restrictions for companies involved in thermal coal mining and the extraction of tar sands and, more recently, additional restrictions have been agreed for companies involved in the extraction of oil and gas.

Alongside this, a number of proactive green investments have been made in wind and solar energy and forestry.

The Representative Church Body Investment Committee will continue to monitor and review companies that appear not to be aligned with the long-term transition to a low-carbon economy and "engage and/or divest as considered appropriate".

The RCB is a member of the Church Investors Group and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change which provide investors "a collaborative platform for engagement with public policy-makers and the exchange of expertise on climate change issues".

It is also a founding signatory and supporter of the Climate Action 100+ initiative which aims to curb emissions, strengthen climate disclosures, and improve climate governance.

The Church of Ireland is currently holding this year's three-day General Synod online; it will conclude tomorrow.

It is planning to hold an all-island conference with its Society Commission in 2022.

The objective will be to "develop understanding of what action parishes can take to address the climate crisis and to equip church leaders with the tools to lower emissions and help biodiversity".