In 2015, the General Synod (General Synod 30) voted in response to climate change, to call for the complete elimination of fossil fuels for energy by 2040. The final wording of the resolution was this, “be it finally resolved that it is our belief that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is among the most compelling and urgent moral issues of the time. Although some political and technological advances may take time, that where progress can be achieved more immediately, that the UCC move with all deliberate speed to champion those objectives and that the UCC must not only insist upon swift and measurable action among state and federal governments, but that it model these commitments in all of its religious and administrative buildings, as well as its expenditures and allocations of resources, and that we encourage other ecumenical partners do the same.”
United Church Funds took seriously this charge and established a Beyond Fossil Fuels Global Equity Fund and a Beyond Fossil Fuels Balanced Fund which offer investments that are free of companies exploring for or producing fossil fuels. The PSEC Endowment Committee also took this seriously and voted unanimously to move 10% of the balance of each of our investments with UC Funds to the fossil fuel free funds beginning in 2016. With the intention of those investments being totally in fossil free funds within 10 years or so, depending on performance. The Endowment Committee chose 10% per year in order to be good stewards of the resources endowed to us and to monitor the performance of these newly established funds in comparison to the fund that they are currently invested in until at which time we felt that there was a good earnings history for the fossil fuel free funds. To date, the fossil fuel free fund that has been utilized has been performing well and very close to the performance of the Moderate Balanced Fund that our investments have been in.
The Conference Consistory encourages all our local churches to look at their investments and to divest from fossil fuels wherever possible.
The Endowment Committee will continue to monitor these and all of the investments that they have been charged with as they live out the wishes of the Body to encourage, receive, and administer these gifts in a manner consistent with the loyalty and devotion to the Lord expressed by the grantors, and in accordance with the policies of this Conference.
For more information, visit the United Church Fund’s Social Responsibility page.