The United Methodist Church has acknowledged the risks of of fossil fuel dependence for the last 35 years through its Energy Policy Statement in the Book of Resolutions, resolution 1001. The processes and byproducts related to the extraction of petroleum, coal and natural gas are damaging to the health of people who work in these industries as well as those who live on or near extraction sites. The extraction and burning of fossil fuels exacerbates climate change. Limiting the warming of the earth to 2-degrees Celsius, the internationally agreed upon limit for human survival, requires that the vast majority of the world’s fossil fuels be left in the ground. Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change urgently requires a transition to sustainable energy.
United Methodists live and serve on the front lines of disasters like Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, prolonged droughts, devastating floods, massive wildfires, and other extreme weather events, which will increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Continued investment in fossil fuel companies undermines The United Methodist Church’s ministries to the most vulnerable among us--including those who are hungry, sick and/or living in poverty. Continued investment in fossil fuel companies signals a grave disregard for the lives of young people.
Therefore, Fossil Free UMC recommends the following example legislation for action at United Methodist Annual Conferences in 2018:
Resolution on Divestment from Fossil Fuels
BE IT RESOLVED that the **include name of Annual Conference or Foundation** of The United Methodist Church shall not knowingly make investments in any company or entity whose core business activity involves the production of petroleum or natural gas. Core business activity refers to a company's primary, or central focus of activity and is an essential element in the company's economic success. A "core business" is one that accounts for 10% or more of a company's revenue derived from the objectionable products and/or services.