St. Francis’ Letter to Rulers To all mayors and consuls, magistrates and rulers throughout the world, and to everyone who may receive these letters: Brother Francis, your little and despicable servant in the Lord God, sends his wishes of health and peace to all of you.
St. Francis’ Letter to Rulers ( cont.) Pause and reflect, for the day of death is approaching. I beg you, therefore, with all possible respect, not to forget the Lord or turn away from His commandments by reason of the cares and preoccupations of this world, for all those who are oblivious of Him and turn away from His commands are cursed and will be totally forgotten by Him. And when the day of death does come, everything which they think they have will be taken from them. And the wiser and more powerful they may have been in this world, so much greater will be the punishments they will endure in hell.
Fossil fuel divestment and clean energy reinvestment in faith communities
GreenFaith’s Mission GreenFaith helps diverse religious communities put their beliefs into action for the Earth. www.greenfaith.org
Background Context of frustration and desperation Starts with coal on college campuses The “filthy fifteen” McKibben in Rolling Stone, July 2012 300+ campuses, growing number of municipalities Faith-based/denominational efforts in early stages
Divest & Reinvest Now! Goals Create and share resources to support faith-based discussion and action Educational Resolutions Support leaders and activists in diverse denominations Organize multi-denominational gatherings for leaders/activists Publicize
Initial Reactions Galvanizing Skeptical That it can make a difference That it is financially responsible The wrong target “Divestment fatigue” Anti-Israel concerns Frequently used instead of last resort Preference for engagement through shareholder advocacy
Background for Faith Groups Long history of ethical use of money Long history of investment screening/ divestment Tobacco, alcohol, weapons manufacturing, prison construction and management, gambling, financial service firms, pharmaceuticals, adult entertainment, pork production, and more
Why Faith Groups Divest Reason #1: Responding to Grave, Large-Scale Harm Activity causing grave injury or death on a large scale Degradation of human dignity Integral to industry or government functioning This reason suffices for some faith groups Conservative Christian divestment in alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment/pornography
Why Faith Groups Divest Reason #2: Responding to Intractable Resistance Religious preference for some attempt at dialogue ICCR, shareholder activists – retain influence through ownership Must exhaust other alternatives – divestment as last resort Industry/government must demonstrate stubborn resistance to change Industry counter-attacks, false research, PR
Why Faith Groups Divest Reason #3: Redefining Society’s Moral Code Relational, discussion-based Create reputational risk; modern form of shunning/shaming From inconceivable/laughable to irritating to plausible Uncertain impact– tobacco vs alcohol South Africa as strong example Success depends on credible case for moderates
Fossil Fuel Meets the Criteria Massive harm More than all other divestment targets of the past century combined Fundamental resistance Skeptic science, malign influence on government Opportunity to influence society Desperation and tragic aspect of divestment Lack of success through other strategies
Reinvestment It’s not the 60’s or the 80’s Protest not enough Values-based investing In own facilities Religious facilities as ‘green laggards’ In clean energy/clean tech
Divestment, Reinvestment and Sacrifice Misguided effort to downplay risk “We won’t lose money – fund managers will fix it.” Denial of risk. Accept that moral stance involves a sacrifice. Potential financial sacrifice. Attention, time, for fragile institutions
GreenFaith’s Resources Web-based resource center Educational tools Statements, sermon aids, discussion guides Sample resolutions Media and reports http://greenfaith.org/programs/div est-and-reinvest http://greenfaith.org/programs/div est-and-reinvest
GreenFaith’s Resources Monthly webinars Biblical/theological Practical/strategic Sample resolutions, essays Sermon and discussion group resources Support for organizers/activists Campus-based efforts
Final Notes The depth and effectiveness of the discussion is the ultimate value of divest/reinvest Tragic nature Plausibility for moral moderates
Contact Information The Rev. Fletcher Harper 732-565-7740, ext. 301 email@example.com Skype – revfharper Twitter - @greenfaithworld www.greenfaith.org
Competitive Ecological Investing by Frank Morris What does it mean to invest in the Common Good?
Global Fresh Water Crises There are concerns of a global fresh water crises.http://www.unesco.org/bpi/science/content/press/anglo/10.htmhttp://www.unesco.org/bpi/science/content/press/anglo/10.htm
Thermo electric power plants Thermo electric power plants (centralized coal, oil, nuke and gas) claim 40% of Americas fresh water usage.lhttp://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1344/lhttp://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1344/
Fresh Water, Clean Energy, Jobs Electricity Storage Renewable Energy Energy Efficiency Employing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electricity storage-helps to maintain fresh water supplies and provides electricity with less pollution, and provides new jobs and industries.
Retrofitting Johnson Control's energy efficiency retrofit, helped the Empire State Building use substantially less electricity.
NYC Solar Energy Potential These energy cost savings, after a energy efficiency retrofit, can often be used to pay for the retrofit in less than 5 years. http://www.energytaxsavers.com/http://www.energytaxsavers.com/ NYC has 5800 mega watts of solar energy potential.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/science/earth/16solar.html?_r=0http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/science/earth/16solar.html?_r=0
European Uncertainty in Utilities In Europe, alternative energy has caused uncertainty for utilities, resulting in 500 Billion euros of value destruction. http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21587782-europes- electricity-providers-face-existential-threat-how-lose-half-trillion- euros?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/how_to_lose_half_a_trillion_euroshttp://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21587782-europes- electricity-providers-face-existential-threat-how-lose-half-trillion- euros?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/how_to_lose_half_a_trillion_euros
Solar Roofs in Germany In Germany, 1.5 million citizens have installed solar roofs. Solar roofs are dropping in cost, as their efficiency improves. hese solar roofs provide a distributed income for homeowners. The model is applicable wherever the sun shines.
Urban Population Growth As global populations grow and urbanize, water utilities will provide improved health and quality of life. As global populations grow and urbanize, rail and bicycle transportation will continue to grow and improve.
Organic, Fair Trade, and EPENX Fair trade and organic foods are a viable, distributed, and growing. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/05/us-un-farms- idUSTRE7641MT20110705http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/05/us-un-farms- idUSTRE7641MT20110705
EPENX Firms providing organic foods, metals recycling, rail, bicycles, alternative energy- renewables-storage, water utilities, bio-remediation and pollution control are building a competent, more ecological infrastructure. The Epiphany Global Ecological Mutual Fund EPENX, is a catholic faith based mutual fund investing in ecological solutions
Ecological infrastructure distributes wealth and income, where as fossil and commodity based infrastructure-concentrates wealth and income
An Ecological Economy of Communion An "Ecological Economy of Communion" (competing within the global, exploitative market economy) can thrive, and is thriving now, to provide dignity, quality of life, and the Common Good.
Next Steps Pray About how best to bring your faith to Investing. Review your own Investment Portfolio Investigate the Investments of your business or community Meet with Investment committees to discuss alternative options (Bring a friend!) Research Mutual Funds like EPENX or other sustainable investment options for comparisons.