At the 223rd General Assembly, there will be a number of overtures related to climate change and the PCUSA's response to it.
Condemning Environmental Racism
FFPCUA is advocating for the 223rd General Assembly to approve this overture, which would encourage the church to recognize the problem of environmental racism in its many forms. The overture also asks the church to listen to the voices of those disproportionately impacted by environmental risks and harm, namely people of color.
Divestment Based on Specific Criteria
Another overture calling for Fossil Fuel Divestment was first passed in October 2017 by the Presbytery of East Tennessee. It is listed in pc-biz.org as: [OVT-008] On Adding to the GA Divestment List All Companies That Meet Specific Listed Criteria
This overture calls for selective divestment from fossil fuel companies that have not responded to the engagement efforts of MRTI with significant changes in behavior. It specifies three criteria to identify such companies including: appearance on the Carbon Underground 200 list; earning more than half their revenues from fossil fuels; and not reducing their carbon footprint at a rate consistent with the U.S. COP21 commitment made in Paris. This overture directs MRTI to add such companies to their existing Divestment List and requests that the BOP, Foundation, and mid councils divest from them as well.
In addition to lifting up the impacts of climate change on poor and fragile populations, the rationale of this overture acknowledges the long-standing policy of phased selective divestment employed by MRTI. It also notes that companies choosing to comply with the specified criteria can be “redeemed” and once again become candidates for investment.