Episcopalians vote on fossil fuel company divestment

Many diocesan conventions have met over the last few weeks. One issue that has come up in many is divestment from oil company stocks. The Diocese of Southern Ohio voted against divestment, The Diocese of Oregon amended the original language of divestment to study the issues involved and Olympia (Western Washington) voted to divest. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports:

The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, at its annual convention, has voted to divest within five years all of its holdings in the world’s top fossil fuel companies, and henceforth keep it free from Big Coal and Big Oil.

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.

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