Fossil Fuels and Climate Change

At its upcoming meeting on February 6th our Presbytery of Southern New England will be considering an overture from our Session concerning the role fossil fuels play in climate change. “Overture” is PresbySpeak for “request for action.” Actually, our Session is asking our Presbytery to ask (overture) our General Assembly (which meets in Portland OR on June 18-25) to actually do the “something.” By the way, at least eight other presbyteries have also overtured the General Assembly on this, making the point that we care.

In this case, the request is to cease investing in fossil fuel companies — both coal and oil and gas. This is to be done over the next three years. We are to retain enough shares to be in a position to encourage these companies to use their strengths to develop clean energy sources. And there is provision that these changes be made carefully in light of fiduciary responsibility. The overture and details are here:

Climate change is a rapidly developing disaster. The Fossil Free overture puts us on record as caring for our own futures, and more important for the futures of our children, grand children and communities. Leaving a substantial portion of earth’s remaining fossil fuels unused is essential if we are to manage the challenge. The Fossil Free overture seeks that end through a combined effort to engage the fossil fuel extraction industry and to join in urgent witness. Our voice needs to be heard by our denomination as it attempts to address this. If we remain silent, how are they to know we care?