Friday, 29 August 2014

Assembly to divest from fossil fuels

The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly has resolved to divest from investments in corporations engaged in the extraction of fossil fuels.

Uniting Church President Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney has welcomed the resolution of the Assembly Standing Committee, calling the decision an important act of public witness.

“As Christians we are called to respect and care for the whole of creation,” said Rev. Prof. Dutney.

“Wth national governments reluctant to take difficult decisions, it falls to us as members of the body of Christ to show leadership in taking action to reduce damaging pollution.”

“To avoid damaging climate change we must move quickly to a clean energy economy. The Uniting Church recognises that continued investment in fossil fuel industries does not support the change needed.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans.

A recent IPCC report concluded that there are still opportunities to respond to the risks of climate change, although these risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.

“The future depends on countries like Australia making a strong, unequivocal commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rev. Prof. Dutney.

“Our partner churches in the small island states have been calling on Australia to take seriously the threat to their futures. We simply must act. This is a matter of social, environmental, and intergenerational justice.”

The Assembly Standing Committee resolution follows similar decisions on divestment by the Synod of NSW and ACT in April 2013 and the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania in February 2014.

Rev. Professor Dutney has congratulated these councils of the Uniting Church in Australia for their leadership.    

“We commend this course of action to other Uniting Church entities as they make their investment decisions as well as to our ecumenical partners,” said Rev. Prof. Dutney.