The National Trust, an independent charity for environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will no longer invest in any fossil fuel companies, the organization announced on Thursday.
The charity set a three-year timescale but expects that the majority of divestments will be accomplished in the first 12 months.
Accordingly, the charity will introduce a series of new measures to establish the long-term goal of continuing the reduction of the carbon footprint of the investment portfolio.
Additionally, the group will increase engagement with companies they have invested in to encourage them to make material improvements in their environmental performance and actively seek out opportunities to support green start-up businesses.
Previously, the charity had required that no investment be made directly in companies that derived more than 10% of their turnover from the extraction of thermal coal or oil from oil sands.
Fossil fuel investments comprise 4% of National Trust's current portfolio.
"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," said Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust.
"Many organizations have been working hard to persuade fossil fuel companies to invest in green alternatives. These companies have made insufficient progress and now we have decided to divest from fossil fuel companies," Peter Vermeulen, the charity’s chief financial officer explained.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic