The National Trust is to sell all of its investments in the fossil fuel industry by 2022, saying oil and gas companies had not done enough in the shift to a low-carbon economy.
It currently invests £45m in such companies – or about 4% of its £1bn stock market fund, an important source of revenue for the charity which looks after coastlines, land and historic properties across Britain.
The trust had previously moved to ensure that no investment was made in companies which receive more than 10% of their turnover from extracting coal for power stations or oil from oil sands.
But it is now going further, and aims to offload the majority of investments in oil and gas companies, including Shell, BP and Total, within 12 months.
It will instead favour green start-ups and other firms delivering positive environmental outcomes.
Finance director Peter Vermeulen said not enough progress had been made by the big energy companies to change since the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Mr Vermeulen told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: “Oil and gas companies have been insufficient in actually changing their business models to a low carbon economy.
“So as a conservation charity we have called time on that and said we are not going to invest in those companies any more.”
The move comes after a number of investors including charities and churches as well as pension funds and governments, have sought to shift investment away from fossil fuels.
BP faced pressure from shareholder groups to set tougher targets to combat climate change at its annual meeting in May.