For Immediate Release
A proposal to fully divest the denomination’s foundation and pension accounts from all fossil fuel companies failed in the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly Friday. Fossil Free PCUSA, a project of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF), led the advocacy effort on behalf of divestment, and their work included a two-week, 212 mile walk from Louisville, KY to St. Louis, Missouri. Forty presbyteries signed onto the overture in advance of the assembly, the greatest number of presbyteries to ever concur on an overture. After four hours of discussion, the assembly voted 332 to 178 against divestment.
Rev. abby mohaupt, moderator of Fossil Free PCUSA, says, “We are grateful for the leadership of our frontline community partners as we have called for divestment from fossil fuels. We will be praying for MRTI’s faithful work toward incremental fossil fuel divestment and continue our fight for full divestment in our beloved denomination.”
In lieu of passing the divestment overture, the assembly opted to approve a report and actions proposed by Mission Responsibility through Investment (MRTI), the body which pursues socially responsible investment on behalf of the denomination. This report supports an incremental approach to divestment through research and “maintaining a seat at the table.” The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship believes there is simply no more time to carefully research and chart options. An estimated 5 million people die each year from climate-related disasters such as drought, hurricanes, and loss of territory. PPF has partnered with frontline communities who are most affected and will continue to do so as it pursues its goal of full divestment.