Top Climate Action of 2014 Recap by Interfaith Power & Light

 climate action advocates interfaith power and light img from ipl.org

Organizing an interfaith religious response to climate change, Interfaith Power & Light encourages environmental activism thru faith-based advocacy and energy efficiency.

Active on so many fronts, IPL is an exciting organization generating international and nationwide optimism for climate action leading to successful mitigation of global warming. Sponsoring and encouraging climate action has led IPL to launch several notable programs doing amazing work in America and abroad.

IPL-Sponsored Faith-Based Climate Programs

Cool Congregations is a stewardship program designed by IPL to help houses of worship encourage their congregation to care for Creation by reducing their collective, as well as individual fossil fuel carbon emissions.

Cool Harvest is a food, faith, and climate program for faith-based groups and congregations. Don’t miss their downloadable “Sow a Cool Harvest” guide for planning and creating a sustainable spring vegetable garden.

Preach-In on Climate Change is an events-based program encouraging faith groups to discuss the spiritual side of climate change at worship services, while also pushing for greater support from local and national policymakers. At PreachIn.org there are sermons, postcards, and other resources available to download.

Carbon Covenant helps U.S. faith communities support international sister congregations to protect their forests and build sustainable communities, building interfaith and international solidarity. Donations, or “gifts of trees” in honor of a friend or loved one are also accepted.

IPL Always at the Forefront of Climate Action

With an active website coordinating communications for all IPL state affiliates, as well as the concerned public at large, IPL is always at the forefront of developing news on climate action.

Staying current with global climate action is critical for all of us, especially as faithful stewards of God’s creation. The following news stories were recently listed by IPL as the top ten climate stories of 2014, shared here by permission of IPL to help all of us stay up-to-date on this critical issue:

IPL Recaps “Top 10 Climate Stories of 2014”

“Looking back, 2014 was an action packed year for climate advocates. From blocking Keystone XL, to the climate march, to the Lima accord, grassroots momentum is building for climate action. Lots of important stuff happened, but here’s our top ten list:”
 

1) EPA proposes first ever carbon pollution limits on power plants.

Interfaith Power & Light collected and delivered 10,756 signatures from people of faith supporting these limits. The comment period closed December 1st, and a major priority in 2015 will be ensuring they take effect without delay.
 
 
2) Over 400,000 march for climate action.

More than 1,000 IPL-ers joined hundreds of thousands of other activists on the streets of New York City in September. The march was timed to send a message to UN delegates gathering for the U.N. Climate Summit — and simultaneously sent a message to the world that Americans care about a safe climate.

image (Image note and source: IPL members join in the Peoples’ Climate March in NYC. copyright ipl.org
 
 
3) U.S. ratchets down coal.

IPL contributed to a number of local victories over coal with national and international implications. Indianapolis Power & Light agreed to stop burning coal at the last coal-fired power plant inside a major Midwestern city — 18 years earlier than planned! And on the West Coast, three proposals for coal export terminals were blocked. Cumulative actions across the country to stop coal power have contributed to a sharp decline in the growth of coal. FERC reported that for the first nine months of the year, there was NO new coal power brought on-line, and the largest portion of new electrical capacity was in renewable.
  
 
4) NASA confirms presence of giant methane cloud over Four Corners region of New Mexico.

The cloud is the size of Delaware, and pre-dates the fracking boom. The most likely source is coal extraction in the region.  
 
5)  U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls evidence of human-induced global warming “unequivocal”.

In its most urgent missive yet, the world’s top scientists share their projections of the catastrophic effects, from global food shortages to refugee crises, we can expect if global carbon emissions are not reduced significantly, beginning in the next few years.
  
 
6) November elections usher in a new Republican majority in the Senate.

Although most voters did not vote on climate or energy issues, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his top priority will be to approve Keystone XL. Incoming Senate Environment Committee Chair James Inhoffe continues to call climate change a “hoax” and pledges to stop EPA climate action.
  
 
7) Keystone XL approval bill fails in lame duck Senate vote.

IPL organized 9,650 people of faith throughout the country to email, call, or write to their senators asking them to vote against the Keystone Pipeline and this issue has now become a moral one, around which people of faith are rallying.
 
 
8) U.S. and China make bilateral agreement to curb carbon pollution.

The U.S. intends to reduce economy-wide emission by 26%-28% below 2005 levels in 2025. China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to 20% by 2030.
  
 
9) New York state bans fracking.

After years of rallies, meetings, and protests, officials in New York state announced that  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will ban hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking”. Officials came to the conclusion that the potential health and environmental impacts of fracking are too great to allow it too proceed.
 
 
10) U.N. Climate Conference in Lima yields first ever commitment of all member nations to curb carbon pollution.

Delegates from nearly 200 nations agreed that every country must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or at least its rate of emissions. Each country will now have to report back by March 21, 2015 with a plan detailing how it will begin to reduce emissions after 2020.
 


“It’s good to reflect on the successes we’ve had together, while we rally our strength for the unfinished work ahead in our urgent mission of protecting Creation.

May 2015 truly be a year for peace on Earth.”

image (Image note and source: IPL Group photo from National IPL Conference in DC – Education and Action. copyright ipl.org

 
(Top image note and source: Interfaith Power & Light logo screen capture. IPL)

 
 
 
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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.