Friday, December 11, 2015

Be Part of History Be Part of the Witness for Climate Justice Event

On Friday December 11, 2015 an action in support of a positive outcome at COP21 will take place at Christ Church Cathedral located on St. Catherine Street in downtown Montreal (click here for directions).

A service will be held inside of the church at 5:15 PM. It will be followed by a candlelight climate witness on the forecourt of the church. All are welcome.

Canadian Faith Leaders Call for Climate Justice Ahead of COP21

In conjunction with the United Nations Sustainable Development summit in September, Canadian faith leaders called for climate justice. They specifically addressed the need for a positive outcome at COP21. Together Canadian faith leaders, including the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, have endorsed the following statement “On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada.”

On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada - Faith Communities in Canada Speak Out


1. In our day, the causes and effects of global climate change are becoming more and more visible. The measurable amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million, more than at any time in recorded human history. This most serious development is caused mainly by humans removing forests and burning fossil fuels, namely oil and gas. We see the interconnected effects of these unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere: rising average global temperatures leading to more extreme weather and related disasters that affect ever greater numbers of people;changing ocean chemistry and its seemingly irreversible impact on marine life; and the declining diversity and health of land-based communities of plant and animal life. These effects are causing the precious and unique environment for life on Earth to fall into serious disrepair.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Almost 2 Million People Sign an Interfaith Climate Justice Petition in Support of a Positive Outcome at COP21

On the eve of COP21 1.8 million signatures were collected on an interfaith petition calling for climate justice.

Saturday, 28 November, marked the beginning of the ecumenical and interfaith cooperation at COP21 in Paris. Four petitions by ACT Now for Climate Justice (part of ACT Alliance), the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Religions for Peace and Our Voices, with a total of almost 1.8 million signatures for climate justice inspired tears of joy and dancing feet in Paris.

Remarkably, the tears were shed by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who then grabbed the hands of religious leaders to dance in celebration of what they had achieved.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pray and Act: Call for Climate Justice at COP21

Pray and act for climate justice at the United Nations’ Climate Conference in Paris (COP21), November 30–December 11, 2015. Add your voice to the growing call by people of faith for action to avert a devastating rise in global temperatures.

According to the COP21 website , world leaders will work to complete “a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C” at the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris. COP21 could be a critical turning point for climate change policy and the future of the planet.

The problem is real, and action is urgently needed. It is time for the Government of Canada to exercise leadership. The United Church is sending three delegates to COP21. Send them with a strong message! Take Action

Sign the Prayers for Paris Petition offered by Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), a partner of the United Church. Invite friends, family, and members of your faith community to sign too! Your message will be carried by people of faith going to Paris, who will communicate these concerns with Canadian government officials.

Reflect on creation care with a worship service on November 29 (the first Sunday of Advent and the eve of COP21), or any time before or during COP21. Prayers for Paris Worship Resources are on the CPJ site. Consider joining the Prayers for Paris Prayer Chain —individuals and congregations across Canada are invited to carry these prayers forward, one hour at a time, throughout the climate change talks.

March in Ottawa on November 29 in 100% Possible: Marching Together for Climate Solutions and Justice. This festive, family-friendly march will urge our government to take bolder action on climate change. Faith communities will gather at 12:30 pm for a brief prayer vigil—contact Karri Munn-Venn at CPJ for details. Bus transportation to Ottawa may be available; visit the 100% Possible March website for up-to-date information.


The problem is real. Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by roughly 0.85°C since the beginning of the industrial era, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million. Climate change impacts are being felt around the world. The greatest burden is falling on people in the Far North and global South—who have contributed least to the problem.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that decisive actions to get greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under control must be in place by 2017. Canada is one of the world’s most flagrant per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, emitting 14.7 tonnes per person per year, according to data from The World Bank . In 2009, the Government of Canada committed to reducing GHG emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020; however, Environment Canada data indicates that we are less than halfway there.

At the upcoming climate change talks in Paris, Canada has the potential to do its fair share to keep global warming below dangerous levels. Global leadership is needed to mark a pathway to a renewable energy future now and to ensure that those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change do not bear its brunt. Change is possible: internationally, measures to address climate change and transition to green energy have proven to be consistent with a strong economy, quality jobs, and good health. In Canada, emissions reduction plans in several provinces have proven effective.

In September, the Canadian Council of Churches issued On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada, a call for action by the Government of Canada to end poverty and fight climate change. The Moderator of The United Church, along with leaders of 27 other Christian denominations and faith communities, endorsed the statement. In the lead-up to COP21, the United Church has called upon the Canadian government to commit to a legally binding target to cut our domestic carbon pollution by at least one-third within the next 10 years and to scale up public finance to enable an annual contribution of $4 billion in international climate finance by 2020.

Most recently, Catholic cardinals, patriarchs, and bishops from national or regional bishops’ conferences appealed for an agreement that would “strongly limit” global temperature increase and set a goal for complete decarbonization by mid-century, and would “ensure inclusion and participation of the poorest, most vulnerable and [most] impacted at all levels of the decision-making process.” This call is based on Pope Francis’s landmark May 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’ , which demands urgent action to save the planet from environmental ruin.

The United Church stated in 2000 that “Human societies must learn to live in a much more ecologically integrated manner within the Earth community drawing on energy sources in ways that do not damage ecosystems or compromise the capacity of the Earth to meet the needs of current or future generations.” At successive General Councils in 2009 and 2012, the United Church recognized that climate change threatens the world as we know it, and called the church as an institution, as well as its leaders, bodies, and congregants, to assume their respective responsibilities to take more urgent and intentional action to bring about a shift within the church and within Canada. In 2015, General Council voted to encourage The United Church of Canada Foundation and the Executive of the General Council to take active steps to sell their holdings in the 200 largest fossil fuel companies, and to take active steps to use assets made available by divesting from fossil fuel companies to invest in green renewable energy cooperatives.

Source: United Church of Canada

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bishop Mary Supports a Positive Outcome at COP21

Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal has endorsed a statement calling for a positive outcome at COP21. The COP21 Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders supported by Bishop Mary declares: "We as religious leaders stand together to express deep concern for the consequences of climate change on the earth and its people, all entrusted, as our faiths reveal, to our common care. Climate change is indeed a threat to life. Life is a precious gift we have received and that we need to care for"

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Candlelight Witness for Climate Justice Event

A candlelight witness event titled "Witness for Climate Justice," will take place on Friday, December 11th at Christ Church Cathedral. This event is being held on the final day of the COP21 climate talks where it is hoped that the world will come together to sign a global climate deal.

This is the second of two events taking place in the Diocese of Montreal in conjunction with COP21. The first was a speakers evening called "All Creation Groans," a conversation about climate justice, which took place on December 2nd.

The candlelight witness event begins at Evening Prayer at 5:15 pm in Christ Church Cathedral and continues on the Cathedral Forecourt following the service.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders on COP21

We raise our voices to the governments represented at COP21 in Paris to utilize the special momentum given on this highly significant occasion:

COP21 provides a critical opportunity to benefit the whole of the human community. For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a global and comprehensive agreement on climate justice and climate protection – supported from all the nations of the world – can be reached.

We as religious leaders: “stand together to express deep concern for the consequences of climate change on the earth and its people, all entrusted, as our faiths reveal, to our common care. Climate change is indeed a threat to life. Life is a precious gift we have received and that we need to care for”

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pray for COP21

As the Paris climate talks begin, we enter the season of Advent. It’s a time when Christians everywhere are waiting and watching, preparing for the birth of Christ.

Many of us are concerned about the threat climate change poses to the earth, our God-given common home.

Dalai Lama Calls for Ambitious Climate Agreement at COP21 (Video)

The Dalai Lama is urging young people and policy makers to push for strong global action to limit man-made global warming, in part to protect the Himalayan Glaciers and rapidly warming Tibetan Plateau.

In a video message (see the bottom of the page) released as part of a campaign by the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India, the 80-year-old Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said human beings created the problem of global climate change, and therefore humanity must solve it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders on COP21

Here is a Statement from dozens of Faith and Spiritual Leaders on the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 in Paris in December 2015

We raise our voices to the governments represented at COP21 in Paris to utilize the special momentum given on this highly significant occasion: COP21 provides a critical opportunity to benefit the whole of the human community. For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a global and comprehensive agreement on climate justice and climate protection – supported from all the nations of the world – can be reached.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

COP21: Pope's adviser urges Catholics to join climate marches

The Pope's closest adviser on ecology has urged Catholics to join global climate marches planned for Sunday. In an internal letter to bishops, Cardinal Peter Turkson says people should be "encouraged" to exercise their "ecological citizenship".

The letter says that climate negotiators meeting in Paris need to hear the voice of "God's people". Activists say the call is evidence of a step-change in the Church's approach to climate change. Major demonstrations across the world have been planned to mark the start of the global climate conference, known as COP21.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Path to Paris Mary Knoll

November is a historic month for taking action on climate change. Nearly 200 nations will join the UN Climate Summit in Paris, starting November 30. We need them to take bold action and solve the current climate crisis. To help you join the millions of people worldwide praying and acting for the care for the earth, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns will offer a weekly series, Path to Paris.

Each week, a two-page prayer-study-action guide will examine the devastating impacts of climate change and what we can do, leading up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris. The Path to Paris series in response to Pope Francis’ call: “Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.” (Laudato Si' 19) Share each issue of Path to Paris with your parish and friends; and use it for personal reflection.

Click here to go to see the prayer study action guides. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

COP21 Paris Primer for People of Faith

France will be hosting the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 21 from November 30th to December 11th. COP21 will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

The Conference of the Parties (COP), made up of all “States Parties”, is the Convention’s supreme decision making body. It meets every year in a global session where decisions are made to meet goals for combating climate change. The COP in Paris will be the 21st, hence the name “COP21”.

Christians from Paris and the surrounding region, climate pilgrims from the UK and many other countries, faith leaders, agencies and NGOs will be taking part. The Council of Christian Churches of France is encouraging all Christians to support the conference through common prayer.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fossil Fuel Divestment Presentation Delivered at the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal

On October 16th, 2015 a fossil fuel divestment motion was passed at the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. Here is the presentation that was delivered in support of the motion.

By Richard Matthews

The Stewardship of the Environment committee's divestment motion is inspired by the call to care for creation. The fifth Mark of Mission and our sixth Baptismal Covenant specifically call us to:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Combating Climate Change as a Moral Imperative

The moral call to act on climate change has grown and it is resonating around the world. Morality is a powerful force that transcends politics, race, ethnicity, gender and geography. Religions are making a moral argument and faith groups around the world are calling for ambitious climate action. This morality is also inspiring them to divest their holdings from fossil fuels.

Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical is an important catalyst for religious activism in support of climate action. The science based encyclical highlights efforts to combat climate change as a moral issue and calls us to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Coverage of the Divestment Motion in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal

On October 16th, the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal passed the following motion to divest from the top 200 worst fossil fuel polluters.

Moved: Raymond Noel
Seconded: Elizabeth Welch

Monday, November 9, 2015

The President of the CCC Sends Letter to Justin Trudeau Commending him for his Statements on Climate

On November 4, 2015, Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, President of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to congratulate him on taking office, and to commend to him the statement On Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada: Faith Communities Speak Out. PM Justin Trudeau

This statement now represents the broadest and deepest coalition yet of religious leaders in Canada on the topics of climate, poverty, and Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Montreal Anglicans Vote to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Here is an article on the fossil fuel divestment motion brought forward by the Stewardship of the Environment Committee. It was passed at the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal on October 16, 2015. 

The Anglican Diocese of Montreal is working on ways to sell off, or “divest,” shares and other investments in coal, oil and gas companies from the diocesan investment portfolio.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Ottawa-area Anglicans voted almost unanimously Friday to sell their $1 million worth of oil and gas stocks and push the church’s national body to do the same.

Local Anglican congregations have a combined stock portfolio worth $30 million, which is administered centrally, and although the oil and gas stocks are a relatively small portion, Friday’s vote is seen as a major statement on climate change.

Bishop John Chapman supported the decision.

“When a person is being baptized in the Anglican Church, they promise that they ‘will live to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth,’ ” he said. “I think our obligations are quite clear.”

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Anglican Diocese of Montreal Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels

The Anglican Diocese of Montreal Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels On Friday October 16, 2015, the Diocese of Montreal voted by an overwhelming margin to divest from fossil fuels at their annual synod. The motion was advanced by the Stewardship of the Environment Committee. The motion specifically called for divestment from the Carbon Underground 200, a list of the dirtiest coal and oil companies in the world.

Montreal is the first Anglican diocese in Canada to pass such a divestment motion. Although others have voted to study divestment, Montreal is the first diocese to pass a motion with specific actionable plans that must be executed in a "timely" fashion.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Faith Communities and Divestment and the Canadian National Election in 2015

The movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy and climate solutions has exploded, growing fifty-fold in the past year. To date, 430 institutions and 2,040 individuals across 43 countries and representing $2.6 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Faith communities cannot, in good conscience, be strong advocates for addressing climate change while continuing to profit from fossil fuel companies. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, “[p]eople of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Facts Sheet: Five FAQ about the Motion to Divest from Fossil Fuels in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal

The Divestment Motion for the Anglican Diocese of Montreal reads as follows:

"Be it resolved that synod direct the Finance Standing Committee and its advisers to explicitly examine Diocesan investment and its implications on climate change, and to divest from those companies known to be the worst polluters as published in the "Carbon Underground 200," an annually updated list of the top 100 public coal companies globally and the top 100 public oil and gas companies globally, as ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves. The list is produced and maintained by Fossil Free Index."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In Addition to Faith Communities Fossil Fuel Divestment is of Interest to Investors Businesses and Power Companies

Faith communities have been at the forefront of the fossil fuel divestment movement, but they are not alone. As reviewed in this article, investors, businesses and even power companies are acting in response to divestment.

The fossil fuel divestment movement is gaining serious traction and resonating widely. Divestment is at the forefront of efforts to manage climate impacts, and due to concerns about growing financial and reputational risks, investors, businesses and power companies are being forced to take notice.

While many initially dismissed divestment from fossil fuels as purely symbolic there is growing reason to believe that it is powering meaningful change. To date we have seen a total of 2.6 trillion divested from fossil fuels and the movement continues to grow. In the last year alone there has been a 50 fold increase in divestment activity.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Report on Faith Based Divestment from Fossil Fuels

Here is an except focused on faith based divestment from fossil fuels. It is taken from a report called, "Measuring the Growth of the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement":

Faith communities worldwide continue to divest—and are helping shift the climate debate to one grounded in a moral responsibility, bolstering the divestment and investment movement.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Islamic Leaders Call for a Phaseout of Fossil Fuels and More Renewables

Islamic leaders from 20 nations called for the phaseout of greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and for 100 percent of energy to come from renewables in an effort to rein in more dangerous levels of global warming. The clerics and scholars appealed to “well-off nations and oil-producing states” to recognize their “moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the Earth’s non-renewable resources,” according to the declaration e-mailed Tuesday from Istanbul.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why I Support the Divestment from Fossil Fuels Motion in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal

This article was written by Stewardship of the Environment Committee member Brooke Struck,  in support of a motion to divest from fossil fuels. Delegates and clergy will vote on the motion at the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal on October 16th 2015.

The climate has always been changing, and life (including human life) has always had to adapt. Some organisms have succeeded, and have survived; others haven’t. But the present change in climate is much more rapid, exerting much stronger adaptive pressures on humanity and the rest of our living brethren on Earth. The main driver of climate change is carbon emissions from human sources, primarily since the Industrial Revolution. (For a very illustrative set of graphs about attributing climate change to various factors, recently assembled to include massive amounts of scientific data from wide-ranging sources click here).

Friday, October 2, 2015

Anglican Bishops Call for Urgent Action on Climate Justice

In March 2015, 17 Anglican bishops from six continents met at a summit in Cape Town, South Africa to discuss how Anglicans could respond to climate change. Their talks eventually led to a written declaration, The World is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice.

For the Rev. Canon Ken Gray—rector of the Church of the Advent in Colwood, B.C., co-chair of the Creation Matters Working Group for the Anglican Church of Canada, and secretary of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network—one word in the declaration seemed to strike a particular chord for readers: “urgent.”

“It is a theological and spiritual challenge for us now to face, immediately and urgently, concerning the way we have stewarded creation and the way we’re currently using it,” Gray said. “There, I think, is … growing distrust [in] neoliberal market economics as being able or willing to provide real solutions to real problems.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WCC at International Divestment Conference in Paris

With just two months before the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21), an International Divestment Conference was held in Paris, on 1 September, where Rev. Henrik Grape represented the World Council of Churches (WCC) as a key speaker.

“The logic of divestment couldn’t be simpler: if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage,” said Grape.

The conference focused on the growing movement to withdraw investments from fossil fuels that create emissions causing climate change, and to invest in sustainable energy.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Climate Change and Faith: Why We Are Asking the Diocese to Divest from Fossil Fuel

Careful research over many years has revealed a difficult truth: carbon emissions from human sources are the primary driver of climate change that is threatening ecosystems and people.1 This truth is difficult because since the 19th century carbon has fueled industry and it is now tightly woven into many aspects of our daily life. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy seems daunting. However, this is a necessary transition to make. Experts agree with very high confidence that climate change will “increase risks for people, assets, economies and ecosystems, including risks from heat stress, storms and extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, water scarcity, sea level rise and storm surges . . . these risks are amplified for those lacking essential infrastructure and services or living in exposed areas.”2 Let us not allow cynicism and despair to lead to apathy, even in the midst of crisis we as people of faith are called to hopeful acts of self-giving love.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Statement from the Primate on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Dear friends,

People everywhere are becoming more and more urgently aware of the perilous state of much of creation, and our responsibility as stewards of the earth which we inhabit.

Earlier this month Pope Francis called the 1.25-billion members of the Catholic Church to annually observe on September 1 annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Since 1989 many Eastern Orthodox Christians have observed on that same date as a Day of Prayer for the Environment.

Religions are Making the Moral Argument in Support of Climate Action

In stark contrast to the disagreements that tear us apart, the world's religions appear to have coalesced around the understanding that we need to care for creation. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and others have all made moral arguments in support of climate action.

Pope Francis has championed the battle against climate change via an Environmental Encyclical, and Muslim leaders across the world have echoed the moral call to engage with an Islamic Climate Declaration.

Here is an article that reviews some of the moral arguments:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Statement of Support for the Pope's Encyclical from the Anglican Bishop of Quebec

This statement of support for the Pope's environmental encyclical was written by the Right Reverend Dennis P Drainville, Anglican Bishop of Quebec.

My Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Today humanity is called by Pope Francis to the single largest and most critical mission ever required of life on planet Earth. That mission is to engage with the reality of Climate Change, change that is swiftly becoming Climate Crisis. Earth is “Our Common Home”, as His Holiness reminds us. This great gift was entrusted to us by our Creator. Yet we have sorely abused that trust. Only by accepting the mission of engaging with this crisis, the secular and the faithful, the rich and the poor, the rainbow of humanity working together, can we rescue, heal and renew Mother Earth, from the destruction we have wrought upon her.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Anglicans tell Eco-bishops: “Be prophetic, encourage ecological witness”

“What sort of leadership in response to global climate change would you hope to receive from a group of Anglican bishops and archbishops?”

This question garnered over 120 responses from Anglicans Communion-wide when posed early in July by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN).

“I was surprised by the number of responses we received and by the obvious effort respondents put into their submissions. The question obviously struck a chord with many who engage in advocacy around environmental justice throughout the communion” ACEN’s secretary Canon Ken Gray said.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Archbishop of Capetown: "Climate Change is a Moral and a Justice Issue"

Fran Witt Interviews Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, the South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, and Global Climate Ambassador for the ACT Alliance.

Why did you get involved in the fight against climate change?

I engage on issues on the basis of scripture. I start from there as it is written: ‘Speak out for those who cannot speak. Speak out for the rights of all the destitute, speak out and judge righteously for the rights of the poor and needy.’

Friday, August 14, 2015

United Church of Canada Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels

The church’s General Council voted 67% in favour of divesting from the top 200 fossil fuel companies.

The United Church of Canada voted to sell its fossil fuel assets and commit financially to transitioning to an economy based on renewable energy. The vote was held by the 42nd General Council, the United Church’s highest body, which meets triennially to determine the denomination's priorities. Climate justice, whereby the world's most vulnerable populations avoid disproportionate harms of climate chaos, stands as a clear priority for Canada's largest protestant denomination.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pope Francis Creates Global Environmental Day of Prayer

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will be celebrated on 1 September to give people opportunity to reflection upon ‘the adoption of appropriate lifestyles’

Pope Francis has established an annual day of global prayer “for the Care of Creation” to boost support for the environment, the Vatican said on Monday.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Catholic Sisters Show Support for Climate Action and the Clean Power Plan

On Wednesday August 5, 2015 the Sisters of Mercy brought students to Capitol Hill to support the Clean Power Plan. Thirty students and staff from seven colleges and universities sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy met with legislators to urge support for the Clean Power Plan and other measures to address climate change.

The students, who along with the Sisters of Mercy are inspired by Pope Francis’s encyclical letter. They prepared for those meetings at a panel discussion with Catholic and other faith justice leaders on Tuesday, August 4. The panel discussion focused on faith values surrounding climate change. What emerged from the discussion was a moral call to support the Clean Power Plan and the Green Climate Fund. They also wanted to advocate on behalf of communities of color in the US.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Science Adds Weight to the Pope's Environmental Encyclical

The position of Pope Francis on the environment is premised on good science. In essence he agrees with the salient findings of the IPCC. While the Pope may not be a working scientist, he does have a "titulo" degree (between a bachelors and a masters) in chemistry and he even worked for a time as a chemist. Perhaps most importantly he regularly consults with leading scientists.

It is important to understand the amount of scientific research that went into the Pope's encyclical. For many months those who were assisting the pope and the pope himself consulted with scientific experts in their respective fields.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Environmental Encyclical of Pope Francis Calls for Revolution

The zeal surrounding the recently released encyclical of Pope Francis is as revolutionary in modern times as the message which it conveys. In his unprecedented encyclical called "Laudato Sii", or “"Praised Be", the pope has called for a " bold cultural revolution" to tackle environmental and social problems. Pope Francis has made waves around the world with his historic call for climate action. The Pontiff addressed the need for a revolutionary change in the hearts and minds of people in terms of the way we treat the Earth and each other.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Episcopal Church Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels as a Moral Issue

The leadership of the Episcopal church has voted to withdraw from fossil fuel holdings as a means of fighting climate change, delivering an important symbolic victory to environmental campaigners.

Two weeks after the pope’s pastoral letter on the environment, the divestment decision by a major US Protestant denomination underscored that climate change is increasingly seen by religious leaders as a deeply moral issue.

The measure, adopted by the governing body at a meeting in Salt Lake City, commits the church to quit fossil fuels and re-invest in clean energy.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pope Francis' Moral Call to Environmental Action

The new encyclical written by pope Francis may draw heavily upon science, but it is ultimately a moral call to environmental and social action. Moral and faith based advocacy of climate action is of immense benefit in reaching those who are not familiar with the merits of science. We have needed a new narrative for some time and now we are seeing the beginning of a positive narrative take shape.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pope's Environmental Encyclical Supports the Poor While Demanding Change from the Rich

As promised Pope Francis has released his long awaited encyclical which is called, "Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home." The document is all people to support the poor. It is also an indictment of the rich who refuse to change their ways. The pope characterizes wealthy people as being the primary contributors to climate change and he calls for an end to consumers and greed to help avert an ecological disaster.

An encyclical is the highest level of teaching that a pope can issue. Francis has made it clear that he hopes his encyclical will influence those who are gathering for climate talks at the end of the year in Paris. It is hoped that the pope's message will make it more difficult for special interest groups to derail the work that needs to be done at COP21 where it is hoped we will secure a global climate agreement.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Leaked Papal Encyclical Lauds the Climate Movement and Derides Deniers

Here is a leaked preview of Pope Francis' much awaited encyclical which is due to be officially released today (Thursday June 18th) at noon. As expected the Pope has come out as one of the world's foremost environmental leaders. He praises the environmental movement, warns of the need for change and calls out climate deniers. The Pope wades into some of the finer points of the climate discussion even taking a stand on carbon trading.

As reported by The Guardian, the leaked version of the encyclical calls us to avoid "unprecedented destruction of our ecosystem. The 192 page document warns of "grave consequences for all of us," if we fail to make adjustments in the way we live our lives and change the way we consume energy.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Arctic is the Epicentre of Climate Injustice

A working group is studying the Church of England’s recent decision to divest from thermal coal and tar sands to see how it can be instructive to the Anglican Church of Canada’s own investment policies.

The Church of England announced April 30 that it was divesting £12 million worth of investments in “heavily polluting fossil fuels” and that it won’t make any direct investments in companies where more than 10 per cent of revenues come from the extraction of thermal coal or the production of oil from tar sands.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dorval Community Garden at St. Mark’s

On a beautiful sunny spring day an organic vegetable garden was installed at the Parish of St. Andrew and St. Mark, Dorval. The garden was made possible by a “Growth, Understanding and Ministry” (G.U.M.) grant from the Anglican Diocese of Montreal and a generous donation from Margaret Beattie, a member of the parish.

The garden is a joint project with CPE Dorval, a daycare that operates on the parish’s property. The produce grown will be donated to Dorval Community Aid (DCA), a local support organization that among other services provides emergency food aid to Dorval residents. Some produce may also go to other organizations that serve area residents in need.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Canadian Church Investors Call for a Price on Carbon

Leaders in the Anglican Church of Canada have joined counterparts from other denominations in signing a letter that urges the Canadian government to establish a basis for pricing carbon dioxide emissions.

Written on behalf of 53 religious institutional investors with combined assets of more than $2 billion, the letter is addressed to federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver and asks the Government of Canada to “establish mechanisms to set a clear, reliable and effective price for carbon emissions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting catastrophic climate change.”

The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, signed the letter along with Bishop John H. Chapman of the Diocese of Ottawa.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The 5th Annual Interfaith Eco-Action Day

The 5th Annual Interfaith Eco-Action Day will take place this year on Monday, May 18th from 9:00 a.m. through noon. The gathering point is Parc Raymond Préfontaine (Metro Prefontaine) in Montreal, Quebec.

It is a great opportunity for your youth group or any interested parishioners to make a real difference in a neighbourhood. Last year we had close to 165 participants from a number of faiths and traditions.

These Eco-Action Events have been organized within local Montreal neighbourhoods annually for the past four years and are sponsored by the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Montreal, The Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, the Concordia Multi-faith Chaplaincy, and EcoQuartier Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Justice Tour: Faith Climate Change and Poverty

The Justice Tour is a series of faithful gatherings of concerned Christians in cities across Canada. At these national events communities of faith will come together to pray, engage and learn about climate justice and ending poverty in Canada. The tour, is co-organized by Citizens for Public Justice and the Canadian Council of Churches.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Church of England Adopts New Climate Change and Ethical Investment Policy that Includes Divestment

On Thursday April 30th 2015, the Church of England, mother church of the world's 80 million Anglicans, adopted a new climate change and ethical investment policy. The policy stresses engagement with companies and policy makers and divestment when engagement is deemed unproductive.

The Church Commissioners and The Church of England Pensions Board indicated that it will divest £12 million ($18.42 million) from thermal coal and tar sands. Effective immediately the three national investing bodies (NIBs) which includes the £1.9 billion ($2.9 billion) CBF Church of England funds, will not make any direct investments in companies where more than 10 percent of its revenues are derived from the extraction of thermal coal or the production of oil from tar sands.