Fossil Fuel Divestment: Religious Institutions

Fossil fuel divestment is a moral argument, and religious institutions are uniquely positioned to make strong moral arguments.

Most faiths agree that Creation is God’s: ours to steward, but not ours to destroy. Environmental stewardship is thus a key tenet of many synagogues, mosques, and churches, and climate activism is nothing new for some religious communities. It is only reasonable to bring such institutions’ investments in line with their principles and divest from fossil fuels.

"With the civil rights movement, the youth led and the churches followed," points out Fred Small, minister of the Unitarian Universalist First Parish Church in Cambridge, Mass. The students are leading -- now it’s time for religious institutions to follow.

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Campaigns (10)

  • Chico Community Church: Divest from Fossil Fuels!
    The Bible states that "the world and all it contains" are God's. (Psalm 89 v 11) Thus, it seems immoral that some people will use the world as a tool to exploit for their own profit and to satisfy their greed. If we believe God created the world, and we are to be good caretakers of His planet, them we cannot offer monetary assistance to any persons seeking to continue exacerbating mankind's current unsustainable lifestyle.
    3 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Kenneth Richards
  • Divest the Episcopal Church from Fossil Fuels
    "It is wrong to profit from wrecking the planet." - Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org The Episcopal Church must stand behind its marks of mission and be a part of the solution and not continue to support companies that contribute to climate change. The global crisis of climate change requires immediate action. We cannot address global poverty without also addressing environmental degradation caused by increasing carbon dioxide levels. Without any alternative options for energy, we in the Episcopal Church are all complicit, but unless we invest in renewable sources of energy, we will be forever in the situation of having to more so by supporting a company with our investments. The influence and size of the Episcopal Church makes it a prime candidate to be a leader in the domestic and global environmental movements. Let's follow the lead of the Anglican Church and divest from fossil fuels!
    7 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Perry Hodgkins Jones
  • Divest Baltimore Washington Conference of United Methodist Church from Fossil Fuels!
    WHEREAS, all creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation; and WHEREAS, we acknowledge the global impact of humanity’s disregard for God’s creation. Rampant industrialization and the corresponding increase in the use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere. These “greenhouse gas” emissions threaten to alter dramatically the earth’s climate for generations to come with severe environmental, economic, and social implications. The adverse impacts of global climate change disproportionately affect individuals and nations least responsible for the emissions; and WHEREAS, any truly effective strategy to combat climate change will likely require … keeping a significant portion of remaining fossil-fuel reserves in the ground rather than burning them. … (T)hat roughly 80% of the world’s fossil fuel reserves cannot be consumed without pushing the earth’s temperature beyond 2˚ C increase that climate scientists believe marks the tipping point beyond which impact are likely to be catastrophic; and WHEREAS, we can invest in alternatives – better companies, better strategies, better outcomes. We can invest in the future, and in those companies whose technologies and solutions will help catalyze the transition to a truly sustainable global economy; and WHEREAS, for decades, fossil fuel companies have spent millions of dollars to influence legislation in state capitals and Congress and have been very successful in their efforts to block carbon emission goals and cut off support for clean and renewable energy sources.
    52 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Mike Koob Picture
  • Challenge the ELCA to Divest from Fossil Fuels
    Money is the driving force behind the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry, which harms God's creation by contributing to pollution and climate change. Our Church must not invest in this unethical industry or take part in its profits.
    15 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Ginger Litman-Koon
  • Divest United Methodist Church from Fossil Fuels
    Investing in fossil fuels in this era, with what we know today is happening to our climate as the result of burning fossil fuels, makes us complicit in "destroying the global ecological balance that provides the life-support systems for the planet."*. If wrecking the climate is wrong, then profitting from that wreckage is unconscionable and certainly not consistent with Methodist or Christian values. *(Quote from Resolution # 1023, "Environmental Justice for a Sustainable Future" from the Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church).
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    Created by Rick Kehret Picture
  • Saint Joseph Health Fossil Fuel Divestment
    Fossil fuels threaten the future of our planet and pollute the air, causing hundreds of thousands of cases of childhood asthma and killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. The industry spends billions to prevent adoption of policies for clean energy and clean air. Hospitals and health systems should draw the line and refuse to profit from or lend their financial support for these destructive practices. Divestment by healing institutions helps develop the social consensus that this must stop and weaken the political power of Big Oil.
    820 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Wendy Ring Picture
  • Divest Presbyterian Church from Fossil Fuels!
    Our church has a responsibility to divest from an industry that is destroying creation. The 183rd General Assembly of PC(USA) resolved that church investment is “an instrument of mission and includes social, theological and economic considerations.” Genesis 2 reminds us of our responsibility to “till and keep” the earth. God has a covenant with not only humanity but with every living creature. In Matthew, Jesus calls us to care for the “least of these”. Climate change has a disproportionate impact on those living in poverty and in the least developed countries. Therefore, we call the Presbyterian church to take a moral and prophetic stand for creation. Please join our campaign and support our Overture to the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA) in June, 2014 to divest from fossil fuels.
    130 of 200 Signatures
    Created by susan chamberlain
  • Divest the UUFRC from Fossil Fuels!
    Our Fellowship has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. We can not count on the federal government, even as extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 droughts in the Midwest overwhelm local budgets. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for religious organizations that care about our Earth and the well being of the interconnected web of life of which we are all a part. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    32 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Debbie Mytels
  • Divest Brookfield Unitarian from Fossil Fuels!
    Our green/social action committee (CESA) believes even our small church can help save the planet.
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    Created by Daphne T Stevens
  • Divest First Religious Society Unitarian from Fossil Fuels!
    The investments should fit with the church's mission and vision, while providing income to support the programs of the church.
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    Created by John Harwood