Implementation Report on the Resolution to Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy

In the 30th General Synod, which met in 2015, a resolution on transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy called upon the Minister for Environmental Justice to report back to all future General Synods on the progress made on the imperatives of the resolution. In this report, I summarize that progress in relation to four entities named in the resolution: the General Minister and President, the national task force, conference tasks forces, and the Minister of Environmental Justice.

In accord with the request that the General Minister and President share the resolution with elected officials and government agencies along with denominational instrumentalities and members, a concerted course of action is in progress and will be completed by the start of the 31st General Synod.

In accord with the request that the Minister for Environmental Justice establish a national task force to advance progress on the imperatives of the resolution, I can report that this has been accomplished. The formal name of this group is the UCC Council for Climate Justice. It is currently comprised of 30 members who represent 22 different conferences. The first sponsored actions of this council include nationwide climate vigils on the day of the 2017 Presidential inauguration and the climate march in Washington, DC on April 29.

In accord with the request that conferences establish task forces to pursue the mandates of the resolution, I can report that the Illinois Conference and the Southern Conference have established task forces/networks related to climate justice as well as broader environmental justice concerns. These two groups join already existing environmental groups in four other conferences: Connecticut, Penn Central, New Hampshire, and the Central Pacific.

In accord with the request that the Minister for Environmental Justice be integrally involved in the work of studying, monitoring, and reporting on a range of issues related to fossil fuels, I can report that I have achieved this through an environmental justice newsletter and blog called the Pollinator. Through this platform of communication, I and other writers have reported on matters such as coal ash pollution in North Carolina, a proposed coal terminal in California, severe weather such as drought, hurricanes, and floods, environmental racism, a federal carbon tax proposal, fracking, threats to sources of water, air pollution, government subsidies to fossil fuel corporations, fossil fuel infrastructure, health impacts related to climate change and fossil fuel pollution, best practices for churches addressing climate issues, and mountaintop removal.