Church may withdraw investment in Vedanta over ethics row
Wednesday 27 January 2010
The Church of England will decide this week whether to maintain its investment in the controversial FTSE 100 listed mining group Vedanta Resources, after coming under pressure to sell its £2.5m stake in the group.
Members of the Church's Ethical Advisory Group will hold their first session since visiting the miner's operations in India last year. Its advice will be passed to the Church's investment managers who will then decide whether or not to withdraw the cash. Vedanta, which yesterday said it would only comment when the Church's final decision was known, is accused of breaching the rights of the indigenous Dongria Kondh tribe in Orissa.
Specifically, the company is accused of failing to consult with the tribe over a proposed bauxite mine in the state, which groups such as Survival International claim will disrupt a site sacred to the group.
The case has attracted the ire of a number of high-profile bodies. The UK's National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, a government body, said last year that Vedanta had "failed to put in place an adequate and timely consultation mechanism fully to engage the Dongria Kondh, an indigenous community who would be directly affected by the environmental and health and safety impact of its plans to construct a bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri Hills, Orissa".
Three years ago the Norwegian state pension fund sold its shares in the company, saying that being an investor would present an "unacceptable risk of contributing to severe environmental damage and serious or systematic violations of human rights".
Stephen Corry, a director of Survival International, which has long campaigned on behalf of the Dongria Kondh, said: "If the Church of England now decide to keep their cash with the company, it will be in the full knowledge that the Dongria Kondh's rights are about to be trampled. The UK government has already told Vedanta that the project is unacceptable, but Vedanta has ignored them – it's painfully clear that words, without action, are meaningless. The Church must take action, and sell its stake in Vedanta Resources."
Vedanta, which is hoping to get approval to start mining the site in March, disputes a number of Survival's claims, specifically those relating to displacing people in the area.
Vedanta is expected to report robust third-quarter results today, helped by strong production and improved commodity markets.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...
£6000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI De...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...