The congregation of across the country Trinity-St Paul’s United Church in Toronto voted unanimously on Sunday at its Annual General Meeting to lend its voice to the fast-growing divestment movement, and to ensure that its own funds are not invested in any of the world’s 200 largest fossil fuel companies. The vote confirms a long-standing commitment to climate justice, which has been a key priority of the congregation for the past decade.
Jeanne Moffat, a member and representative of the Climate Justice Group of Trinity St. Paul’s, sees the decision as deliberately aligning with Christianity’s core teachings of justice. “For too many years governments have not dealt decisively with the impending climate chaos, largely to the peril of low- income countries and low-lying regions of the world. Low-income countries are neither responsible for the heat-trapping gases that will cause more droughts and floods, nor do they have the resources to adapt. Not to act in the face of the realities of climate change is to violate our call to justice. We call upon all people of faith to join us in this movement.”
The timing of the decision coincides with other churches’ and institutions’ decisions to stop profiting from the companies whose business model includes plundering the planet. The decision represents clear dissatisfaction with the inadequate climate policies of the world’s wealthiest countries.
“We have been working on climate justice for well over a decade as individuals and as a congregation,” says Moffat, who proposed the motion on behalf of the Climate Justice Group. “We have been part of a range of campaigns to call for climate action at the scale and pace needed to avert climate catastrophe. We see this as a necessary, logical step in the mass movement away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy and energy efficiency. This movement is growing and growing fast. We invite our sibling congregations across Canada to support this movement away from the fossil fuels that threaten all of Creation.”
Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church is a congregation of the United Church of Canada. Trinity-St. Paul’s seeks to live the love, justice and freedom of Jesus Christ. Worship of God, nurture of one another, and the struggle to be faithful to God’s call lie at the centre of its community and its outreach.
The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada with over 3,000 congregations and other ministries across the country.