After reading the 2023 Business Resolution “Complete Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry and Subsequent Reparations” and the UUA Board of Trustees Response, Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth offers the following reflection:
We are humbled and inspired by the moral witness and labor of UU young adults and the coalition they’ve built working for transformation and calling our faith to practice our values of justice, equity, and compassion. We honor the countless hours of lay leaders, volunteers, paid staff and partners who work to create a robust and dynamic Association. In addition, we are encouraged by the numerous local congregations that pursue fossil fuel divestment, clean energy investment, work to bank with institutions independent of fossil fuels, and foster reparations for complicity in oppressive practices.
We are in agreement with the principles expressed at the end of the 2023 Business Resolution, ‘Complete Divestment From the Fossil Fuel Industry and Subsequent Reparations,” which calls “Unitarian Universalist congregations and Unitarian Universalists to review their congregational and personal investments in order to take action in response to climate change, build community connection and resilience, and pay reparations to historically exploited communities by divesting their holdings in fossil fuel companies.”
We recognize the UUA Board, after its discernment regarding the detailed actions specified in the Resolution, has expressed they “are convinced that this resolution as written would lead to UUA staff layoffs, legal challenges, and major losses in the assets we protect.”
Acknowledging that the UUA Board does not deem it advisable or possible to implement the detailed actions specified in the Resolution, we call upon the UUA to implement the spirit of this resolution and immediately author a framework for complete fossil fuel divestment and reparations for harms done through our past investing.
It is incumbent upon us all as Unitarian Universalists in community to respond to the moral call of Earth and our young adult leaders with workable legal solutions. We have a chance to begin anew and create patterns to sustain our faith movement and work for intersectional climate justice in response to this moment. How will those in 2053 look upon our deliberations and discernments? May we act with those future generations in mind.
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
P.S. If you’d like to keep up with the process of this Business Resolution, watch the recording of the mini-assembly that happened on June 10th. The mini-assembly involved a conversation between the UU YA Divestment Caucus, the UUA Board of Trustees, and delegates about proposed amendments to the resolution.