With this vote First Parish Cambridge joined a growing nationwide movement of colleges, religious organizations, and town and state governments that are working to fight global warming by removing the stocks of fossil fuel companies from their portfolios.
“We have a moral obligation to leave our children a livable planet,” said Senior Minister Fred Small. “We’re just one congregation, but we’re part of a growing movement calling the fossil fuel industry to account for the destruction wreaked by global warming.”
Today’s vote came about when the First Parish Cambridge Investment Committee decided to accept the guidance of the congregation on the issue of divestment. As a result, the congregation voted on, and unanimously approved, two resolutions proposed by the First Parish Environmental Justice Task Force.
The first resolution was to stop any new investment in fossil fuel companies, to divest in the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years, and to report annually to the congregation on progress toward this goal.
The second resolution authorized the First Parish Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) to lead the congregation in taking a public stand on the issue and working with other organizations to advocate for fossil fuel divestment.
“I’m so proud of my church today!” exclaimed EJTF co-chair and prominent 350MA climate activist, Rosalie Anders. “Whatever the future holds, we can tell our grandchildren we didn’t stand idly by while the climate collapsed.”
The fossil fuel divestment campaign (http://gofossilfree.org/) calls on colleges, churches, and pension funds to freeze new investment and divest ownership in fossil fuel companies within five years. Inspired by the 1980s divestment movement that helped bring an end to apartheid in South Africa, the fossil fuel divestment campaign hopes to bring pressure on industry and government to act decisively to stop global warming.
Although it is impossible to track all the participation in this movement, other institutions that have voted to divest from fossil fuels include:
Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT
Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, VT
College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME
Unitarian Universalist South Church, Portsmouth NH
First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee
More than a hundred Evangelical Lutheran churches in Oregon
City of Santa Monica, CA
Founded in 1636, First Parish in Cambridge is dedicated to working for justice and building the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream.
Attached Photo: First Parish Cambridge members celebrate after their unanimous vote to divest from fossil fuels.
Photo credit: First Parish in Cambridge