It calls itself “the little church that could.” St. Philip’s in Milford, Ont. is a small but feisty community of mostly retired people who have a reputation as social justice dynamos. Now they’re sharing a new climate change action kit with the rest of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The downloadable kit [PDF] asks the Canadian government to take a strong stance against climate change at the next United Nations conference, this December in Copenhagen. It includes a backgrounder on climate change and a letter to Environment Minister Jim Prentice that—inspired by the 350 campaign—holds up 350 parts per million (ppm) as the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Although leading scientists have recently promoted 350 ppm as a reasonable limit, the level of carbon dioxide is currently at 390 ppm and rising. The 350 campaign is pressuring governments to reduce carbon emissions to prevent more major ecological shifts like droughts and rising sea levels—already occurring because of climate change.
Citizens are encouraged to send letters before Oct. 24, when governments will be formulating positions for Copenhagen.
So why should Anglican churches act on this issue? “From a Christian viewpoint it is a matter of justice for future generations,” said Josef Cihlar, a leader on the outreach committee. “We are expected to be stewards of creation—the gift we’ve been given.”
“The Copenhagen conference is maybe even one of our last chances to do something effective,” he said, noting that the Kyoto Protocol, which set emissions targets in 1997, has largely been abandoned.
The St. Philip’s outreach committee has already started campaigning (along with other activities they’re up to, like hosting potlucks to support teachers in Afghanistan). Now staff in General Synod’s Partnerships department are recommending this climate change kit to rest of the Anglican Church of Canada.
So how many letters can your church send?
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