Another UCC First… new environmental resolution from Synod

SECUCC at General Synod 29 delegatesPassed by General Synod 29 delegates on Monday July 1st, 2013 at the Long Beach Convention Center was a resolution that calls for the UCC to divest of any Fossil Fuel companies in it’s investment funds.  This resolution is the “first of it’s kind” by any national faith community.

This resolution calls for divestment by June 2018, which directly affects the strategies of our UCC United Church funds and the Pension Board.  Both entities supported the resolution.

There was, however, some opposition on the debate floor to the resolution, primarily from the delegations from Montana, Wyoming and Kentucky.  These states economies are tied to the fossil fuel companies.

The resolution, originally brought to General Synod by the Massachusetts Conference, was passed by 72.5% of the delegates.  According to Rev. Jim Antal, the major proponent, “this resolution will become a model for all faith communities who care about God’s creation and recognize the urgent scientific mandate to keep at least 80% of the known oil, gas and coal reserves in the ground…. This vote expresses our commitment to the future.  By this vote, we are amplifying our conviction with our money.”

Next step is, by General Synod 2015 in Cleveland, for United Church Funds and shareholders to research fossil fuel-free investment vehicles and to identify “best in class” fossil fuel companies.windmills

Additionally, delegates also passed a resolution on making UCC church building more carbon-neutral and to call on UCC congregations to conduct energy audits on their facilities as the first step toward carbon neutrality.