LWF Encourages Divestment

Lutheran World Federation General Secretary Martin Junge, a Latin American Lutheran pastor (former president of the Lutheran Church in Chile), spoke to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans saying he is encouraged that the ELCA is taking up the question of fossil fuel investments. You can listen at: 
his talk starts at minute 13:45. at minute 22:56 he specifically addresses our fossil fuel divestment proposal.      
 
"For us in the LWF, climate change is a reality. We don't deal with climate change as an issue of abstraction, as an idea, but as an issue that is affecting sisters and brothers to which we are linked up through Communion relationships, in Tanzania and Kenya, Namibia and India when it comes to drought. Floodings in Myanmar, Brazil, Germany, and again India.  LWF knows about it. LWF feels about it  because it is touching the lives particularly of those most vulnerable. And it is because of that, that the LWF got consistently involved in the negotiations of the parties leading to the Paris Agreement last year, now ratified by the governments.
 
"During this year, we were led by young people...It was youth who represented the LWF. And from those negotiations, from young people, we have understood: a) the urgency of the issue, and secondly, we have understood, as well, that on issues of climate justice there is an issue of intergenerational justice built into it. We won't be able to tell our children and youth in the future how much we love and care for them if we are not able to show and share with them at the same time how much we care about creation.  As we listened to the youth [Applause.] ...as we listen to the youth in the LWF, the Council took several decisions last year.  The first decision is that by 2050, we aspire to become a carbon-neutral Communion: a long-term goal on which we are working already. On the short term, we took the decision not to invest in fossil fuel anymore and to encourage member churches of the LWF Communion to do the same. Let me say, I am very encouraged by the fact that the ELCA has taken up this encouragement and also this sense of urgency when it comes to taking action about climate change. 

"You have heard probably three days ago that we [humanity?] managed to finish the budget when it comes to [Earth's?] resources that are available for this year - 2016.  All that we are consuming from here onward  is taken from our children and from our youth. That's why it is urgent. 

"Let me come to an end dear sisters and brothers.   Be assured of our prayers as you gather, as you discern, as you discuss and you decide about the life and the witness of your Church.  May God's Spirit guide and nurture your assembly during these days.  And again, we are grateful for who you are, how you participate, and what you bring into the life of the LWF. "
-Rev. Dr. Martin Junge (ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Aug. 10, New Orleans)