Update on progress – climate change response

October 16, 2013

As part of its commitment to remain in covenant with the United Church of Christ through its General Synod, United Church Funds is providing the first update on progress on goals outlined in the resolution Urging Divestment – Along with Other Strategies – from Fossil Fuel Companies. Highlights of action taken include:

  • We’ve sent a letter to make sure that UCF clients understand the plan. This mailing includes a survey whereby clients may indicate their interest in the various offerings outlined in the resolution.
  • We have identified several shareholder resolutions on which we will co-file resolutions as part of this fall’s upcoming shareholder season. Some will deal with corporations using their lobbying dollars to deny climate change. We intend to at least co-file this type of resolution with Occidental Petroleum. Also, we will target the risks companies are incurring by “booking” their carbon reserves as assets on their balance sheets. This carbon asset risk resolution will be sent to many companies this fall, and we’ll be an active part of the investor base.
  • Our Investment department is actively discussing with external managers ways to effectively and economically create a fund option that is fossil fuel free, but no decisions have yet been made. We are endeavoring to have this fund up and ready in approximately 15 months.
  • Staff has had exploratory conversations with research providers to create the best-in-class metrics for identifying the gas, oil, and coal companies that deserve continued investment. This part of the resolution has the longest time horizon – we will have the metrics ready by 2015 General Synod.
  • A web repository will soon be operational, as a way to collect information related to personal and institutional goals that the UCC has committed to in passing this resolution. More on this website soon.
  • We’re joining forces with other investors to make these companies respond and act by tying our requests to the latest climate science, which indicates that the time for change is shorter than we previously believed.

We look forward to hearing how you and your church is living into this witness for climate change.

 
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