Eco-briefs | Religious organization commits to divesting from fossil fuel companies

Amy Goodman

Religious organization commits to divesting from fossil fuel companies

The United Church of Christ, a Protestant denomination with more than 1 million members, has become the first major religious organization to vote to divest from fossil fuel companies in the United States. A resolution approved at a national gathering on July 1 was part of a collection of strategies for addressing climate change approved by the church.

The Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ proposed the resolution and was backed by 10 other conferences across the country. The conferences have committed to fossil fuel-free investment vehicles, asking for increased shareholder engagement in fossil fuel companies and identifying fossil fuel companies with best practices by 2015.

“This resolution calls on each and all of us to make difficult changes to the way we live each day of our lives,” said Donald Hart, United Church Funds president, in a press release. “Implementing the multiple strategies outlined in this resolution will demand time, money and care — but we believe creation deserves no less.”

The religious organization also passed a resolution calling for its buildings to become carbon-neutral, a move that may affect nearly 5,200 church buildings.

Ainslee Mac Naughton

Boulder panel on local and global climate change will encourage communities to get involved

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman will moderate a panel of international activists at “Fossil Fuels, Forests, and Fires: What can we do about climate change?”

The event, hosted by Boulder nonprofit Global Greengrants Fund, will focus on climate change and encouraging people to get involved. While connecting the environmental events happening in Colorado to crises on a global scale, the event will touch on forest fires, fracking, Nigerian oil spills and other environmental issues. The three panelists include Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian human and environmental rights activist, Nonette Royo, a Filipina lawyer with a focus on indigenous people’s rights, and Leslie Glustrom, a scientist and activist with a focus on local energy. The event aims to encourage global and local communities to take action against climate change.

“Without high-level political leadership on climate change, grassroots leadership is an absolute imperative,” said Global Greengrants Fund CEO Terry Odendahl in a press release. “Global Greengrants Fund supports grassroots action around the world. Effective local solutions must be part of the international discussion surrounding climate change.”

The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce St., and at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, 2027 13th St. Tickets to the panel cost $10 and can be purchased on Global Greengrants Fund’s website.

— Ainslee Mac Naughton