More CUC churches confirmed fossil-free

Anti-pipeline activists were celebrating yesterday, May 29th, with the news that Kinder Morgan had warned its investors that the Trans-Mountain pipeline might never be built. This is momentous news, because it suggests that proponents of the age of oil might be passing from the Denial stage to the Anger stage, or even beyond that. CUSJ members will recall that CUSJ has been lobbying for some time to prevent the Trans-Mountain pipeline.

This is also good news for investors who have already made the decision to go fossil-free. In May 2017 I  updated our list of Fossil-Free congregations to include three congregations that are invested through the CUC Trust Fund: UU Estrie in Québec, Westwood Unitarian Congregation in Alberta, and the Unitarian Church of Calgary.

In the case of UU Estrie, divestment was done about ten years ago, although I just learned about this at the 2017 CUC AGM, when I noticed that this was one of three congregations listed in the CUC Trust Fund, itself a socially responsible investment fund (SRI).

UU Estrie Board President Rachel Garber notes that 50% was invested with the CUC about ten years ago, while the remaining 50% was invested in 2015 in a green fund with Desjardins, a popular credit union in Québec. Congratulations, UU Estrie!

The congregations out West seem to be more ambivalent about divestment. The Unitarian Church of Calgary’s Treasurer, Bob Willson, answered my inquiry in May 2017, stating that all of the Unitarian Church of Calgary’s Endowment Trust Fund was invested with CUC in August 2015. He added, “I would note that this was not a decision made to divest but for administrative reasons.” Regardless, congratulations, Mr. Willson! You must be relieved in view of the news about Kinder Morgan that you are clear of that!

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