On November 14th, help expose fossil fuel handouts. Learn more about the #StopFundingFossils Day of Action!
Free handouts for major polluters? What?! Join the UCC in Taking Action:
Many churches have weekly or monthly mission offerings to support worthy causes such as feeding the hungry or clothing the needy, but can you imagine a mission offering designed to support a major polluter?
Of course, the moral absurdity of such an offering is obvious. Yet, financial support of this kind is exactly what governments around the world provide to major polluters to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. For this reason, the United Church of Christ has endorsed a day of action on November 14th that calls upon governments to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.
How You Can Take Action
The goal of the day of action on November 14th is to generate awareness and pressure, as world leaders meet in the days and weeks ahead to develop policies that address climate change. The hypocrisy of pledging to reduce emissions while funding polluters needs to be uncovered and brought to the surface or else we will see the literal continuation of “business as usual.”
Here are three simple and fun steps you can take in participating:
- Take a picture of yourself or a group of church members that draws attention to fossil fuel subsidies.
Examples: Hold a sign that says “Christians for the Separation of Oil and State” or hold a sign that says what you, as a moral and faithful Christian, would do with $52 billion, the amount of annual subsidies in the US.
- On November 14th, share your pictures on Facebook or Twitter. Use the hashtag #StopFundingFossils and share the link to stopfundingfossils.org.
- Share your photos with the UCC Environmental Justice program by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post them on The Pollinator: The UCC Environmental Justice Blog.
Continue to check The Pollinator in the days leading up to November 14th. We will be posting more ideas and resources as we get closer to the date.
Fossil fuel subsidies can be defined in different ways, but they typically cover everything from tax breaks and giveaways to research funding and below market loan rates. While governments around the world help fund the fossil fuel industry, citizens in the United States have a particular moral responsibility to the spending habits of our own government. The highest comprehensive and credible estimate of US government subsidies for fossil fuel companies is $52 billion annually. This includes the military costs of defending oil pipelines and shipping lanes in the Middle East. To get a more in depth explanation of the different forms of subsidies and how much they cost, visit the overview provided on Oil Change International’s website.