The Convention of the Diocese of Olympia voted last week to divest within five years all of its holdings in the world’s top fossil fuel companies.
If embraced by the diocese’s board of directors, the convention resolution means the diocese will sell its ExxonMobil and Chevron stocks, which represent $2.3 million, or 4.1 percent, of the Diocesan Investment Fund. The resolution addresses direct holdings, not the mutual and exchange-traded funds that may hold fossil fuel companies.
The resolution, passed on a fairly close vote, is rooted in fossil fuels’ contributions to climate change. It evokes the 1980s church divestment campaigns that helped begin dismantling the apartheid regime in South Africa.
“The scientific consensus is overwhelmingly clear that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, primarily sourced from the burning of fossil fuels, causes climate change,” the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment said in a statement explaining the resolution.
“Without a swift, concerted global shift away from the burning of fossil fuels, the effects of climate change will displace and impoverish hundreds of millions of people in the coming century and condemn many species to extinction,” it added.