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UUSC to Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies

September 23, 2014

As a lead-up to the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, international human rights organization the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) announced today that its board of directors voted on Saturday (September 20) to divest UUSC holdings from the leading 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies.

UUSC’s investment committee and board of directors voted to authorize the organization’s investment managers to divest its funds of stocks based on the list of top 100 public coal companies globally and top 100 public oil and gas companies globally as identified in the Carbon Tracker Initiative‘s report Unburnable Carbon — Are the world’s financial markets carrying a carbon bubble?.

The list (appearing on page 14 of the report) ranks the top 200 global fossil fuel companies based on their estimated carbon reserves.

The UUSC decision came a day prior to the unprecedented People’s Climate March Sunday in New York City, which drew nearly 400,000 participants — the largest climate rally ever held.

UUSC President and Chief Executive Office Rev. Dr. William Schulz said the rights organization’s divestment decision “reflects UUSC’s longstanding concern about proliferating the use of fossil fuels and its commitment to environmental justice.

“Climate change is threatening life on the planet as we know it. It is threatening human lives and human rights and the very nature of what it means to be human and in community. As such, it is critical for us to address the causes and responses in every way we can, without delay, without denial, without stinting,” he said.

In its divestment policy, UUSC may hold shares in fossil fuel companies to engage in shareholder action. UUSC, as an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investor, has no current exposure to coal and has below market exposure to oil and gas companies.

UUSC and the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice, Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, and Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association are partners in the Commit2Respond climate change initiative.

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