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.