Catholic parishes around New York are powering their churches, schools, and other diocesan facilities with non-fossil fuel energy. A new, three-year energy contract is bringing 100% green power to the twelve-county Diocese of Rochester, which is home to 350,000 Catholics. The new contract with New Wave Energy of Buffalo, NY, is not only answering Pope Francis’ call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also bringing the parishes a significant reduction in energy costs compared to the previous energy contract. To read more on this success story, click here.
Canfei Nesharim is a Torah-based environmental movement that aims to educate and empower Jewish individuals and communities to take an active role in protecting the environment. They value education that leads to action, appreciation for creation, and cultivating leadership. By focusing on these values, they hope to internalize Jewish and sustainable values and turn that into an environmentally-sensitive way of life. To read more about Canfei Nesharim, click here.
The Disciples of Christ general assembly has voted to commit their denomination to achieve zero net impact on the climate. They plan on being carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon positive by 2035. Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, who supported the resolution stated, “today, we are called to bring our leadership to the moral challenge of climate change. Damage to our climate puts the health of our children and elderly at risk, hurts the poorest among us the most, and diminishes God’s creation. This resolution amplifies our efforts to empower our congregations and over 450,000 members to increase climate literacy, support climate solutions and policies, and take active measures to restore creation.” To read the entire article, click here.
The First English Lutheran church in Columbus created a Green Team to measure their energy use and carbon footprint. They took those numbers and applied to become a Columbus Green Spot and was soon after awarded the certification. Soon after, they replaced their gas furnace with a highly efficient one and became the first congregation in Ohio to earn the Energy Star Certification. To read more about the First English Lutheran church in Columbus, click here.
First Presbyterian Church of Athens was recognized for its energy-efficiency efforts in the EPA’s 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition. They reduced their energy usage by 20% and prevented an estimated 9.2 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. To read more about their work, click here.
Caritas International has 160 members who are working in almost every country of the world. Inspired by Catholic faith, Caritas is a helping hand of the Church – reaching out to the poor, vulnerable and excluded to build a world based on justice and love. They work to transform lives and call for a better world for the most vulnerable of the world’s people who are the most affected by climate change and natural disasters. To read more about Caritas, click here.
The Power to be Campaign is a petition to the World Bank from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. They believe that every child has the power to achieve great things, but this can become difficult when one in six families still live without electricity. CAFOD is calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people. To read how you can help and how to sign the petition, click here.
Budgets and Creation Care: A Guide for Reducing Energy Consumption is a guide to help churches reduce their impact on creation by lowering energy consumption. The guide includes ideas for reducing facility and operating expenses as well as tips for implementing the ideas in church. To read the guide, click here.
Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Illinois, has become the first church in the Christian Reformed Church to earn the Energy Star certification from the U.S EPA. Churches earn the certification by following guidelines in reaching an acceptable limit of greenhouse gases that they emit. Hope Christian obtained their certification as a result of their reduction in electricity, gas, and water. To read more about their efforts, click here.
Catholic institutions are turning away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy. On October 4, 2017, a group of 40 Catholic institutions from 11 countries committed to divest from fossil fuels making it the largest joint Catholic announcement to date. Approximately 60 Catholic institutions to date have announced plans to partially or fully divest from the fossil fuel industry. This has taken an estimated $5 trillion away from oil, coal, and gas companies. To read the entire article and see all that committed, click here.