SB Brand-Led Culture Change 2024 - Last chance to save, final discount ends April 28th!

United Church of Christ Becomes First Major Religious Body to Vote to Divest from Fossil Fuels

A set of strategies to attack climate change — which includes a path to divestment from fossil fuel companies — was passed by the United Church of Christ last week at the denomination’s national gathering in Long Beach, Calif. This action makes the UCC the first major religious body in the U.S. to vote to divest from fossil fuel companies.The resolution, brought by the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC and backed by 10 of the denomination's other conferences, calls for enhanced shareholder engagement in fossil fuel companies, an intensive search for fossil fuel-free investment vehicles, and the identification of “best in class” fossil fuel companies by 2015.

A set of strategies to attack climate change — which includes a path to divestment from fossil fuel companies — was passed by the United Church of Christ last week at the denomination’s national gathering in Long Beach, Calif. This action makes the UCC the first major religious body in the U.S. to vote to divest from fossil fuel companies.

The resolution, brought by the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC and backed by 10 of the denomination's other conferences, calls for enhanced shareholder engagement in fossil fuel companies, an intensive search for fossil fuel-free investment vehicles, and the identification of “best in class” fossil fuel companies by 2015.

“This resolution calls on each and all of us to make difficult changes to the way we live each day of our lives,” said Donald Hart, United Church Funds president. "Implementing the multiple strategies outlined in this resolution will demand time, money and care — but we believe creation deserves no less."

The passage of the resolution drew attention and recognition from author and environmental activist Bill McKibben.

“Just got news that the United Church of Christ has voted to divest from fossil fuels,” McKibben tweeted. “This is incredibly important news.”

The same day, the UCC also passed a resolution calling for its church buildings to work to become carbon neutral, beginning with conducting energy audits on their facilities as the first step toward carbon neutrality. This resolution could affect the nearly 5,200 UCC congregations located throughout the United States.

The United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant denomination with more than one million members and nearly 5,200 congregations nationwide. Headquartered in Cleveland, the UCC and its members are advocates for social issues including LGBT rights, marriage equality, immigration reform, environmental protection, and economic justice.

The Church is the first mainline denomination to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first predominately white denomination to ordain an African American.

Last fall, a coalition of socially responsible and faith-based investors expressed its vocal support of the SEC’s ruling on Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires companies traded on US stock exchanges to take steps to accurately determine the origin of the four conflict minerals — tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold.

Advertisement

Related Stories

Advertisement