16 Apr 2009 James Gray
Documents [pdf] filed to the Charities Commission reveal that The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, Charles’ ‘complementary medicine’ charity, holds investments in oil, gas, pharmaceutical and arms companies.
The latest set of accounts submitted to the Charities Commission show that the Foundation holds long-term investments worth over £1.22 million. These include:
- £112,000 in Artemis UK Special Situations, which includes investments in BP, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and BAE systems
- £92,000 in Investec Global Energy, 26% of which is invested in ‘Oil and Gas Exploration’
- £65,000 in Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities Fund, whose top ten holdings include LUKOIL (Russia’s largest oil company) and Gazprom (the world’s largest gas company)
Of course this is all perfectly legal. Trustees are entitled to invest their charity’s money and have no obligation to choose ‘ethical’ funds. However, the choice to hold such investments seems contrary to the stated aims of the Foundation.
And we all know how much time Charles spends lecturing the world’s leaders on climate change and renewable energy. At a speech in Brussels last year, Charles asked:
Do we really understand the dynamics of a world in which energy and food security will become real issues for everyone? Can we, hand on heart, say that we are really doing enough to improve energy efficiency? Can we possibly allow twenty years of business as usual before coal power generation becomes clean? Are we truly investing enough in renewable energy technologies?
The answer for Charles is clearly a resounding “no”, so it seems spectacularly hypocritical to preside over such investments. No doubt Charles’ green credentials are an important factor in people’s decision to donate to the Foundation. I’m sure many of them would be horrified to know that their gifts are being invested in this way.
There seem to be only two explanations for this. Either Charles didn’t know about these investments (in which case he is clearly not as involved in his charities as his PR team would like us to think) or he did know and just doesn’t care.
Whatever the explanation, this will no doubt prompt further accusations of hypocrisy and ‘greenwashing’.Tweet this post This entry was posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 11:16 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Comments are now closed.