Presbyterian Movement to Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies Gains Momentum

The Mid-Kentucky Presbytery is the latest regional body of the Presbyterian Church to vote to divest the church’s assets from fossil fuel companies. The overture began with the Presbytery in Boston, and has since gained support from six other presbyteries across the country, including the Louisville-area group.

The movement calls upon the Presbyterian Church’s Board of Pensions and Foundation to stop any new investments in fossil fuel companies and dispose of any existing assets in these companies over the next five years. It was borne out of a concern about climate change, and how it affects the environment and the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Rebecca Barnes coordinates environmental efforts for the Presbyterian Church USA.

“This has been a very grassroots movement of Presbyterians who care about climate change coming together and they are in different presbyteries in different parts of the country and are all very strong advocates for caring for the earth,” she said.

Divesting in fossil fuel interests is increasingly gaining steam as a way for churches and universities to exercise their economic power to make a moral point about climate change. The United Church of Christ voted to divest from fossil fuel last year, and the Church of England is considering a similar measure.

The Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly will vote on the measure when it meets in June in Detroit.

Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL.

@ericampeterson

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