Spring is finally here, and we’re hoping that it’s true that April Showers bring May flowers. And Sunshine. And warmer temperatures.
But even if that doesn’t happen, we have positive news to share: On April 13, the UUA Board of Trustees passed the following motion:
Recognizing the growing threat of climate change to the earth and to current and future generations, the Board of Trustees believes we must redouble our efforts to press for action to address the crisis through our invested assets. We should use all of the tools available to us, including shareholder advocacy and divestment of shares in companies doing the greatest harm. Therefore we support the passage of the Business Resolution calling for divestment of fossil fuel company stocks and engagement with the companies whose shares we hold. Further, we applaud the Investment Committee and Socially Responsible Investing Committee for their work in carrying out the 2006 Statement of Conscience “Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change” which says: “We call upon our denominational leaders to provide sustainable investing, by exploring the potential for using the ownership rights of the denomination’s financial resources to positively address the global warming/climate change crisis.”
In addition, the Board charges the team of Julian Sharp, Larry Ladd and Donna Harrison with crafting the Board statement supporting the proposed business resolution. This statement should make clear that The Board supports the resolution as written. To the extent that changes are proposed during the mini-assembly process, the Board will support those changes only if they are agreed to by the same parties who crafted and agreed to the proposed resolution.
We hope this means that at General Assembly (GA), we will have little to no problem passing the Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution that we worked so hard to prepare, negotiate, and petition to put on the agenda.
Nevertheless, a campaign team is preparing for GA:
- Before GA, we are working to encourage people friendly to our resolution to register and to seek to be delegates from their congregation, either in person or electronically (a.k.a. off-site delegate).
- At GA, we will have a table at the UU Ministry for Earth booth in the exhibit hall. It will be staffed by volunteers from our group.
- Our group will likely be wearing buttons that say something like: Ask Me about Divestment & Reinvestment.
- We will be implementing a social media strategy, both before and at GA.
- We will be implementing a print media strategy, both before and at GA.
- We will be connecting with any UUs we know, and encouraging them to vote for the resolution.
We are anxiously awaiting publication of the GA schedule, which will happen in May. The time that the resolution will be voted on may well impact the plans we make.
Meanwhile, remember the words of Desmond Tutu: “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change . . . It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future.”
Or, more succinctly, Ellen Dorsey, executive director of Wallace Global Fund said: divestment represents “a true alignment between ethical and financial interests.”