• Multifaith Climate Action Iftar

    Please join Faith & The Common Good and the Noor Cultural Centre for a breaking of the Muslim Ramadan fast, and a celebration of interfaith climate unity and action.

    Date: Sunday July 5, 2015
    Time: 7—10 pm
    Location: Noor Cultural Centre (123 Wynford Drive, Toronto)
    Admission: $15
    Register here. (Registration deadline: Fri. July 3, 5 pm)

    Program includes:
    Opering remarks by Ontario’s Minister of the Environment & Climate Change, the Hon Glen Murray; “One Planet: Harnessing Hope” Photography Exhibit by Irene  Borins-Ash; presentations from groups working on climate justice in Canada; vegetarian dinner & dessert.
    Find out ways you can contribute towards the fight against climate change

    If you would like to attend but are unable to pay the admission, please e-mail khadijah.kanji@gmail.com

     

    Thank you to our supporters!

    Canadian Council of Churches, Church of Scientology Toronto, Citizens for Public Justice, Cordoba Centre for Civic Engagement and Leadership, Donway Covenant United Church, Eco-Sikh, Fo Guang Shan Toronto, Green Awakening Network, Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA, KAIROS Canada,  Khaleafa, Neighbourhood Interfaith Group, Sacred Water Circle, Toronto Area Interfaith Council, Toronto Board of Rabbis, World Interfaith Harmony Week Toronto

  • Jobs, Justice & The Climate

    We > Tar Sands: Jobs, Justice & The Climate is spearheaded by 350.org, and supported by various communities, groups, & organizations that are joining forces to make loud & clear that We – the people – need to move away from an ineffective, exploitative, oppressive economy by partaking in a critical shift that honours our connection to each other & the environment on which we rely.

    This National We > Tar Sands mobilization is shaping up to be a game-changing moment for the climate movement in Canada — will you be there?

    In Toronto:

    When? Sunday July 5th, 2015, 1pm
    Where? Queens Park – traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit River, the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, and the Seneca
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/438675142973059/

    Sign up to join the interfaith hub here, or on Facebook here.

    In Vancouver:

    When? Saturday July 4th, 2015, 1pm
    Where? Sunset Beach, Vancouver (Beach Avenue at Bute Street) – Unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish),and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1714717358755801/

    Our interfaith ‘hub’ meeting spot:  will be at the corner of Bute St and Beach Ave. We will be there from 12:00pm-1:00pm, finishing-off signs in time for the event. Bring your signs & enthusiastic spirits, & come join us! Fossil Free Faith will also have a designated area. Come say hi & take a picture with a personalized message!

    Elsewhere in Canada:

    Find an event near you! Search here: http://350.org/july

     

    *If you’re on Twitter/Instagram, use the hashtag #Faith4Climate and #JobsJusticeClimate

     

  • Why the Pope has caught this non Catholic’s attention

    By Christine Boyle, originally published June 19th, 2015 in the National Observer.

    I’m not Catholic. Despite, perhaps, the best efforts of my grandfather. But I have been following news about Pope Francis, if you’ll pardon the phrase, religiously.

    This Pope has got my attention, and I am not the only one.

    The latest reason why is Pope Francis’s recently released encyclical on climate justice, titled Laudato Si’ (“Praise Be to You” in Latin).

    Pope ScientistFor years, climate change was an issue for scientists and environmentalists. For years they have been waving their arms in the air, with increasing frenzy, to get our attention. They told stories about the shrinking ice caps and the sad polar bears, and showed us graph after graph, red and blue lines moving dramatically upward.

    Years passed, wars happened, politicians had scandals, celebrities had babies, and we all did our part by recycling. But rather than disappearing, climate change became a climate crisis.

    As the crisis escalated, we began talking about it as an economic issue, spurred on by rising costs of failing infrastructure amid increasingly unpredictable weather, and the reality that the future those scientists talked about is happening all around us.

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund weighed in. We started to talk about green consumerism, green capitalism, green lifestyles. And during the infrequent times that climate change has entered the political arena in Canada, the discussion has been framed around economics there too. We’ve debated whether we can afford to take action, and if so what action is most politically feasible and what time frame is most economically practical.

    None of this has gotten us as far, or as fast, as we need. And if climate change was solely a scientific or economic issue in the past, it isn’t any longer. People are dying. And increasing numbers of lives and species are at stake.

    Pope 1Pope Francis’s encyclical is shifting that conversation by naming climate change as a justice issue. It echoes and magnifices what campus divestment groups and grassroots climate justice groups have been saying all along. And for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, climate justice has become a moral crisis.

    Whether it’s politically convenient or not, climate change is happening right now. And the thing about a moral crisis is that no one gets to sit it out. We either act or we don’t, and both options are a choice. Both options reflect upon who we are as people, as institutions, as a country.

    Up to now, many of us have stayed silent on climate change because we felt we didn’t adequately understand the science or the economics of it. Or because we are simply too busy, focused on other issues, or just trying to get by.

    Many others have avoided getting involved out of fear of the political and economic change that addressing the climate crisis will require. A fear that is felt not just among those with power, but also among those without any, whose livelihoods feel unstable enough already.

    Addressing climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time. And it’s going to require us to face these short-term fears in the service of solutions that bring about a much greater good. It will call us all be braver, stronger, more compassionate people than our current political and economic systems assume us capable of.

    In paragraph 205, Laudato Si’ reads, “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good.”

    The Pope warns us that taking action doesn’t mean holding our breath for some future technological solution. Real policy solutions – massive public investment in clean energy, public transportation, improved community planning, and more – already exist.

    And we can afford those necessary investments; the corporations, countries and people who have benefited the most from unrestricted pollution and a runaway wealth gap should be required to pitch in to fund the transition. And most of us can afford to pay a little bit more.

    More than that, Laudato Si’ clearly outlines that taking action means consuming less, and sharing more. It means redefining the good life for us and for future generations. The great opportunity of a moral crisis is that we may emerge from it as better people, more generous communities, and a more stable society.

    I’m not Catholic, but I consider myself a person of faith. I believe in the possibility of a better world. And this Pope has got my attention.


    Chris PicChristine Boyle is Program Director at Fossil Free Faith Canada. She will be traveling to the Vatican for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and CIDSE conference on Climate, June 2-3, and will be writing about it at www.fossilfreefaith.ca.

  • Calling Upon Faith Voices in Vancouver

    Calling Upon Faith Voices: An Interfaith Community Dialogue!

    About what? Mobilizing faith communities for the Jobs, Justice, & The Climate Rally (July 4th in Vancouver), and engaging diverse faith voices in activist spaces!

    Where? *Heartwood Community Café
    317 E. Broadway, Vancouver, BC Unceded Coast Salish Territories

    When? Tuesday, June 23, 4:00pm – 6:00pm

    Coordinated by a team of the Fossil Free Faith Youth Fellows.

     

    Limited space! Please RSVP here.

    Any questions? Contact maisaloon.alashkar@gmail.com

     

    *Queer-friendly venue committed to social justice & liberation. Accessibility: Washrooms are all genders but aren’t currently accessible for wheelchairs & scooters. Heartwood Community Café has made an agreement with the neighbouring Starbucks, which allows Heartwood patrons to use their fully accessible washrooms without the need to purchase anything.

     

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  • Divestment 101 Webinars ONLINE

    Divestment 101 Webinars ONLINE

    Missed the webinars?  No worries,  you can watch the video recordings by clicking on the links below.

    FossilFreeFaith’s Divestment 101 Webinar Series for Canadian Faith Communities: April – May 2015

  • Canadian Unitarians Vote to Divest

    At their AGM this weekend (May 15-17th), delegates to the Canadian Unitarian Council passed a Fossil Fuel Divestment motion!

    The full motion text is below.
    You can watch the AGM live online by clicking here, or find out more about the full AGM program here.

     

    PROPOSED ACTION: Socially Responsible Investment Action – Fossil Fuel
    Divestment
    PROPOSERS: Environment Monitoring Group
    CONTACT: Forrest Smith, environment@cuc.ca
    DATE: Updated March 2015

    Background:

    1. The climate crisis threatens Earth systems through warming, destabilization of the
    climate, sea level rise, and the acidification of the oceans, of which most of the burden
    has fallen and will fall on the poorest people in the world, who are least responsible for
    the crisis.

    2. In 2009, the CUC reaffirmed the Environmental Principles and Values of
    Canadian Unitarian Universalists and called upon the CUC and its members to provide
    leadership through collective and individual actions, and to be a strong voice and
    presence, in confronting environmental issues. Those principles and values included:
    a. Sustainability: Ensuring sustainability of the earth and all life upon it is our first
    responsibility to future generations and to all the species with which we share
    the planet.
    b. Ethical Action: We must adopt practices not only appropriate to our time and
    place but also that address needs of the future.
    c. Natural Capital: A sustainable economy must limit consumption to the “interest”
    produced by the natural capital upon which it depends.

    3. If all known fossil fuel reserves are burned, they will produce five times the amount of
    greenhouse gas emissions required to raise global temperatures beyond 2°C, the level
    that leaders of 167 countries, including Canada, have agreed represents a threshold
    beyond which there would be dangerous human-caused interference with the climate
    system.

    4. We have a moral responsibility to Earth, to all beings, and to future generations to do
    everything in our power to bring about a swift transition from fossil fuels to a
    sustainable energy economy.

    5. A global and growing movement is calling upon universities, pension funds, public
    entities, and religious institutions to divest their holdings in the 200 major fossil fuel
    companies ranked by the carbon content of their fossil fuel reserves as listed at
    FossilFreeIndexes.com which together control a significant portion of known reserves.

    6. The CUC adopted a 1997 Socially Responsible Investment Policy (see Appendix C)
    resolution requiring “the CUC — in investing the funds of the CUC — make all
    reasonable efforts to avoid the holding of securities issued by corporations and agencies
    involved in nuclear power, military weapons, tobacco, gambling and all corporations
    that persist in human rights violations or persist in non-sustainable environmental
    practices”.

    7. The CUC has already divested from the top Carbon Underground 200 securities.

    Therefore, in order to further fulfill the previously approved resolutions of 1997 and 2009, we
    propose the following actions:

    1. The CUC will continue a policy of not purchasing securities of Carbon Underground 200
    (latest edition) companies as investments; and

    2. The CUC will continue to invest an appropriate investment share in securities that will
    support a swift transition to a clean energy economy, such as renewable energy and
    energy-efficiency-related securities; and

    3. Notwithstanding the actions above:
    a. The CUC may acquire and retain investments in Carbon Underground 200
    companies, provided it engages in shareholder activism that seeks
    environmental justice or transition to clean and renewable energy;
    b. The CUC may purchase the minimal shares of Carbon Underground 200
    companies necessary to permit introduction of shareholder resolutions seeking
    environmental justice or transition to clean and renewable energy; and
    c. The CUC shall not take any action inconsistent with its fiduciary duty or that is
    incompatible with the principles of sound investment.

    4. That the Treasurer of the CUC report to each CUC Annual General Meeting from 2016
    through 2020 on CUC’s progress on the above actions; and

    5. That the CUC encourage member congregations and Unitarian Universalists generally,
    to review their congregational and personal investments with a view to taking action to
    similarly divest from Carbon Underground 200 companies and to mitigate climate
    change via supporting shareholder activism designed to end use of fossil fuels, and
    investment in renewable energy and conservation; and

    6. The CUC Environmental Monitoring Group will survey member congregations in 2016
    and again in 2017, tabulate the results and communicate to CUC Members reported
    progress.

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