The Minnesota Conference makes progress toward ensuring its investment mix excludes fossil fuel companies. In the fall of 2014, the Conference was among a small group of investors that committed to the launch of “Beyond Fossil Fuels”, the first United Church Fund (UCF) to exclude fossil fuel companies.
The Conferences’ initial investment of $1.75 million was impactful for UCF in reaching the $20 million mark, which was needed to enable UCF to launch Beyond Fossil Fuels. As of February 28th, the Beyond Fossil Fuels Fund has outperformed a comparative fund (UCF Domestic Core Equity Fund that does not exclude fossil fuel companies) by approximately 0.50%.
Despite this success, the Conference faces a real challenge in being good stewards of our financial resources while following the Resolution on divestment from fossil fuel companies. Currently, the Conference has in excess of $1 million of investable funds that have not been deployed due to availability of other suitable fossil fuel free investment options. In addition a significant portion of the Conferences endowment assets need fossil free investment alternatives in order to divest from existing investments.
In light of the challenge, the Finance Committee would appreciate it if members are able to recommend to the Conference, good fossil fuel free investment fund offerings.