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Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Unitarians vote to divest from fossil fuel companies
BOSTON – In a media release, delegates at the 2014 General
Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) meeting in
Providence, RI, today passed a resolution calling for divestment from fossil
fuel companies in the UUA Common Endowment Fund (UUCEF).
The resolution requires the UUA to:
Cease purchasing securities of CT200 companies as UUCEF
Continue to divest its UUCEF holdings of directly held
securities of CT 200 companies, reaching full divestment of these companies
within five years.
Work with its current and prospective pooled-asset managers
for the purpose of creating more fossil fuel-free investment opportunities,
with the objective of full divestment of UUCEF indirect holdings in CT200
companies within five years.
Invest an appropriate share of UUCEF holdings in securities
that will support a swift transition to a clean energy economy, such as
renewable energy and energy efficiency-related securities.
Report, via the UUA President and the Treasurer, to each
General Assembly from 2015 through 2019 on our Association’s progress on the
Following the vote, UUA President Peter Morales said, “The
UUA has a long-standing history of fighting for our environment. I am proud
that we are going to put our money where our values are on this issue.”
The resolution was carefully crafted by a committed group of
activists known as UU Divest (formally, Unitarian Universalists for Fossil Fuel
Divestment and Sustainable Reinvestment) in collaboration with members of the
UUA Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and the UUA Investment
Committee. The UUA Board of Trustees endorsed the resolution as it was
originally written at their meeting on April 13.
Terry Wiggins, a leader in the divestment effort, stated,
“We, private citizens and the private and nonprofit sectors, need to take
matters into our own hands, and use every strategy we can to convince the
government and public at large of our planetary emergency, and that we must act
The resolution allows the UUA to retain investments in
fossil fuel companies with which it is engaged in shareholder actions seeking
environmental justice. David Stewart, co-chair of the UUA’s Socially
Responsible Investing Committee, stated, “We are encouraged that the UUA can
continue its longstanding successes in shareholder advocacy while helping to
lead the divestment movement with the approval of today’s fossil fuel
divestment resolution. We believe strongly that any effort that can change the
current trajectory of climate change is a welcome improvement.”
The UUA has a long history of shareholder activism on a
variety of issues including environmental justice. Most recently, the UUA has
worked to increase transparency in the executive office of Chevron Corp. and
supported new Environmental Protection Agency limits on carbon emissions for
new and existing power plants.