The First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee was the first UU congregation to divest from fossil fuels, and we brought the issue to our national association. This issue is emerging again among UUs, especially among young people.
In 2012, several First Church Earth Justice Ministry (EJM) members were inspired by Bill McKibben’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign. Our UU principles ground our moral responsibility not to invest in fossil fuels, the most important catalyst for our current climate chaos.
In 2013, with the leadership of EJM member Terry Wiggins, the First Church Board of Trustees passed our divestment resolution. That summer, Terry gathered a national group focused on taking this action national. In 2014 at General Assembly (GA), the group introduced a business resolution which required the UUA to divest its Common Endowment Fund from the largest 200 fossil fuel companies (except for the minimum needed for shareholder activism to promote environmental justice) and make green investments instead. Our then-Senior Minister Rev. Drew Kennedy helped persuade the UUA Board to support the resolution, which then passed overwhelmingly at GA.
At her First Church reception on October 15, UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt elaborated on the current status of this issue in UU circles. For more information contact Terry Wiggins.
Bruce Wiggins, Earth Justice Ministry Co-chair