Friends General Conference

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Minute on Divestment from Fossil Fuel Extraction

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Minutes Details: 

Approved 7/13/2014

Community Friends is committing itself to divest our funds from fossil fuel energy companies’ stocks as soon as reasonably possible. This divestment effort must also keep our investment practices in line with all of our values.  Community Friends needs to use this first step of divestment from fossil fuel stock to begin addressing the challenges of climate change, overconsumption, and overpopulation. The Meeting will work on developing programs and proposals for helping us live with a smaller ecological footprint, both as a Meeting and as individuals. We will also work toward developing relationships with others outside our Meeting who share our concerns. 

The Friends in Unity with Nature Committee, Stewardship Committee, and Cannon Fund Trustees were directed to implement this minute and regularly report on their progress.

Friends (Quakers) of Ohio Valley invite other religious organizations to consider divesting financial resources from fossil fuel extraction corporations. 

Advantages of Divesting  rather than ignoring where money is invested or keeping funds in a bank:

  • Helps raise world-wide awareness of climate change, and Earth's need to avoid burning 80% of known fossil fuel reserves.
  • Several socially responsible divested mutual funds have historically performed better than savings accounts or Certificates of Deposit, and have positive track records of over ten years
  • Requires only a letter or telephone call to transfer funds
  • An Ethical financial strategy to use while planning and saving for green lifestyle changes such as solar panels, passive house, geothermal,  etc.
  • Can be implemented immediately, practical in the present
  • A small way to do the right thing

Advantage of ignoring where money is invested:  short term relief from anxiety.

Once an organization decides to divest, that group only needs to immediately stop new investments in fossil fuels.  The organization has five years to complete the divestment process according to's guidelines.  Divestment impacts the environment in two ways.  First, it applies direct economic pressure to fossil fuel corporations themselves, as they have less money to use.  Second, divesting creates ripple-effect discussions of environmental issues, increasing awareness.  For example, individuals reflect on climate change ethics with their friends and financial advisors.  Hearing that a similar religious organization is divesting, others begin considering actions to help the Earth.

 –  Earthcare (FUN) Committee of Community Friends (Quaker) Meeting, Cincinnati, OH