The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church ended last week with a groundbreaking new commitment to climate action. The proceeding held in Salt Lake City, Utah spent a great deal of time focusing on the moral issue of climate change, with an overwhelming number of Episcopal leaders calling for divestment from fossil fuels, culminating with a vote to redirect $380 million in holdings toward clean energy.
Betsy Blake Bennett, archdeacon in the Episcopal diocese of Nebraska shared, “The vote says that this is a moral issue and that we really have to think about where we are putting our money.”
While Pope Francis’ climate Encyclical likely held some influence on the motion, it is important to remember that the Episcopal Church has been working for years on climate initiatives, and they don’t intend to stop any time soon.
Thank you Episcopal Church for caring for God’s creation!
By Suzanne Goldenberg for The Guardian
The leadership of the Episcopal church has voted to withdraw from fossil fuel holdings as a means of fighting climate change, delivering an important symbolic victory to environmental campaigners.
Two weeks after the pope’s pastoral letter on the environment, the divestment decision by a major US Protestant denomination underscored that climate change is increasingly seen by religious leaders as a deeply moral issue.
The measure, adopted by the governing body at a meeting in Salt Lake City, commits the church to quit fossil fuels and re-invest in clean energy.
It covers only a small portion of church holdings, but encourages individual parishes and dioceses to begin moving funds in their control away from coal, oil and gas.
“The vote says that this is a moral issue and that we really have to think about where we are putting our money,” said Betsy Blake Bennett, archdeacon in the Episcopal diocese of Nebraska, who supported divestment.
“At a point where we are losing species and where human life itself is threatened by climate change, the church, by acting on it, is saying that this is a moral issue and something that everyone needs to look at seriously.”