Business Resolution: Complete Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry and Subsequent Reparations

I am so pleased that I just happened across this right now. I am supportive in general, suggest an amendment to remove the reparations section rather than lose the entire divestment resolution if the folks concerned about the details of reparations are too worried to pass the entire resolution as is.

Who are the current money managers? Hired by, not of the UUA? What ethical guidelines do they currently use? Most critically, why did they buy back shares of companies that were divested in response to the 2014 resolution? That is extremely concerning.


I wish the first discussion item on this topic was a simple, clean copy of the Business Resolution itself rather than a Board critique and virtual dismissal. Why start on such a negative note?
I also wish that folks would make helpful suggestions rather than offering only criticisms. As an example, rather than saying “there are no time limits on…,” One could say “I suggest that a reasonable time limit would be…”
I hope everyone thoughtfully considers this Business Resolution which is supported by a large number of UU’s in a large number of congregations.


Divestment has been a stated goal, but then why has the fund’s directly owned shares of Conoco gone from 124 at the time of the 2014 resolution to >9000 in 2022? If they had kept the 124 shares only for shareholder activism, we could not easily criticize, but adding so many shares of one of the larger fossil-fuel companies is in direct opposition to the divestment goal. Those of us who voted in good faith for the 2014 resolution, followed the 5 years of reporting and then trusted the fund managers to continue on, have good reason to feel misled.

The fact that the UUA board has some sort of reparations discussion happening, that we the delegates, the actual governing body of the UUA know little if anything, does not mean that other options should not be considered by delegates at GA.


IDK, attempt at shutting down a resolution that they don’t like? I wish I had a better answer, and I surely hope that I am wrong but certainly that is the impression that is given, and I don’t like it either.

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Thanks; I hope that we will. I am catching up on all things GA after a superbusy week. I think it goes hand-in-glove with our Code Red for Humanity AIW, which Cindy or Dick will file before the deadline:

We would be asking the military to report emissions and the UUA to divest; seemingly consistent positions.


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Thanks for publishing this rebuttal. I feel it answers a lot of the concerns.

Where can I find propose amendments for this Business Resolution? It seems like there should be a “Divestment/Reparations Amendment” tab on the Discussions page.

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On May 16 the View program of the UU Church of the Larger Fellowship invited two of the UU Young Adults for Divestment to talk about their resolution and be interviewed. Here is link to that program:


I am not sure why this Business Resolution discussion does not appear on the first page of the Delegate Discussion? Why do I need to hunt for it?

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After days of discernment and helpful collaborative discussion within my congregation, I have come to the conclusion that the most important issue in this business resolution is not divestment or reparations. I believe that the most important issue is our UU commitment to democratic process. A business resolution at the 2014 GA directed the UUCEF to divest by 2019. The UUCEF did not comply with that resolution. A resolution at the 2021 GA again directed the UUCEF to divest. The UUCEF has made little progress in complying with that resolution. If the democratically determined direction of the congregations is disregarded, that is not engaging in a democratic process. Divestment is important. Reparations are important. We will divest and provide reparations. We also must renew our commitment to democratic processes.


Thanks, Nick, I agree that is an important part of my support for this resolution. I also supported the 2014 resolution, which was a negotiated compromise after a purer 2013 divestment resolution failed narrowly. One would have thought that to be sufficient. Disappointing that we are at this point. On a different but related topic, the delegates at GA last year voted down the board’s request for a single candidate for UU president. What did the nomination committee do this year? Present a single candidate, saying that their other choice had withdrawn, but not identifying that individual. Trust is not as automatic as it may have been in the past.


I just discovered this discussion page yesterday and so missed the notice of the zoom meetings held this past weekend. Was either of those recorded? Thanks

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I believe that Sunday’s event was to be recorded (I attended Saturday), but IDK where it will be posted.


I agree with the Board’s position here and would vote this down. I see it was submitted by petition. Was there a specific group behind the movement?


I was asked to share the letter from my congregation’s climate action team to our GA delegates, endowment committee, and board. It is at EUUC Climate Action Team Statement regarding the fossil fuel divestment business resolution at the 2023 GA - Google Docs

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The group that did the work to submit this business resolution is the Young Adults for Divestment.

I see that you would vote against this, because you agree with the board’s position. I do not agree with the board’s position. I find the board’s position very troubling. In my own life, in situations like this, when I find I failed to do something that people expected of me and that I believe in doing, I apologize.

Maybe it would help if you explained why you agree with their position. I would love to learn from you. I would be much at peace if there were something I was missing or overlooking.

Here is the board’s summary of their position:

“the UUA Board opposes the Business Resolution …, because it would
undermine the UUCEF’s [the Common Endowment Fund’s] current values-based work on climate action and other human rights issues,
close off the conversations we need to have about UU values and investments,
pre-empt the work the Board has begun around reparations,
and directly cut the UUA budget.”

Maybe it helps to go through those four points one by one: Are you worried about undermining the UUCEF’s work? Closing off conversation? Pre-empting reparations? Cutting UUA budget?

If you have the time to share more, thank you very much for helping explore this business resolution

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The board is still reviewing the submitted amendments to the business resolution and they’ll be posted and shared soon.

The Board’s position statement does not explain why the UUACEF has not complied with previous GA resolutions on fossil fuel investment divestment. At the very least those who oversee the UUACEF should be called to account for their actions (actually, inactions).

Meanwhile, much larger investment funds, like the Yale University endowment, have made substantial progress on divestment and they are proceeding in a very transparent fashion.


I am revising my position on Divestment and Reparations to a position of favoring both and not divestment alone - although my mind is less made up about reparations. I have listened to the proponents of the Resolution and to my congregation, some of whom have taken a great deal of time to understand the position of the Committee, Board and Youth Leaders.

It seems the reason the Resolution came up in the first place is that the youth were told the Committee would not act to divest unless there was a resolution. The Committee having used its liberty of non-binding resolutions in the past to carry on without divestment. With a binding resolution eminent, now the Committee accelerated the work to identify what amount of funds are directly and indirectly associated with fossil fuel investment so that divestment can take place. The non-compliance, is troubling.

I greatly appreciate volunteers who work on the Committee and thank them for the work it takes to make good use of UU investments. I think the Youth Leaders have a point and that the harm done by the fossil fuel investments made to date has been harmful.

I will be looking for an amendment that includes divestment and a progressively higher portion of the divestment paid to reperations the longer the divestment takes. I am sorry for the repercussions that might impact funds available for UUA purposes, however, monetary policy needs to follow our values and principles closer than it has in this case.