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Archbishop of Wales: ethical investment no longer on the fringes of finance



The Archbishop of Wales has argued that ethical investment in no longer on the fringes of the finance world but in the mainstream and the opportunities to invest responsibility are increasing during a keynote speech.

Dr Barry Morgan welcomed the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney’s recent address where he called on City traders to put an end to the “age of irresponsibility”, stating the remarks show ethics now apply to us all and have moved into the mainstream.

Morgan said, “For those who have been putting principles before profit for years, they hear terms such as ethics, responsibility and personal accountability trip off the tongue of the most powerful financier in the country onto the front pages of all the national newspapers, is very heartening.

“It shows more than anything else that ethical investment and investing ethically are now longer the preserve of the ‘not-for-profit’ few on the fringes of finance – they are the business of those slap bang in the mainstream too.”

The comments were made at a seminar attended by more than 100 charity and voluntary sector executives, trustees and advisors.

Morgan also praised the Pope’s encyclical on climate change and the environment stating that all aspects of our lives, including investment, should reflect our personal values.

While advocating responsible investment, the Archbishop recognised that it also comes with dilemmas because companies are complex, wide-ranging and engage in a multiplicity of activities. As a result, rather than excluding undesirable products or activities altogether, thresholds for how much exposure should be allowed, he explained.

Morgan concluded, “As the challenges and dilemmas increase, so do the opportunities – the chance to learn how connected our world is, how our behaviour and decisions, however small, impact on others in ways we hardly realise, how, in short, we can make a real difference to the well-being of everyone, not just the privileged few.”

Photo: eamon curry via Flickr

Further reading:

UN: clean energy investment can support economy more than fossil fuels

Pope encyclical: we need a new dialogue to shape the future of our planet

Pope Francis’ climate encyclical could have ‘mayor impact’, says UN

Church of England divests from coal and tar sands

Bishops call on Anglican churches to divest from fossil fuels

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