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Ecological Justice

Quick links to sections on this page:
Committed to Climate Action | Upcoming Events | Resources | Staff

Committed to Climate Action

Recently we have watched disturbing weather patterns and witnessed horrendous storms that have devastated landscapes and uprooted whole communities. It has made us deeply aware of the climate crisis that we face and the call to take action.

This past summer, The United Church of Canada was challenged by the action of General Council to take more concrete action. We were invited and challenged to “amplify and integrate current initiatives in a bold, hopeful denominational climate strategy that accelerates reductions toward the goal of an 80% decrease in emissions by 2030.”

On Monday, November 21, 2022, the Social and Ecological Justice Commission held the first of a series of Zoom gatherings. This information session was a shared discussion of realistic and practical steps, driven by expertise, that will enable us to meet this ambitious target. And we will remind ourselves of why these actions are absolutely necessary.  Please see the recording of our first session, with accompanying resources below as they become available.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future climate action topics, please contact Susan Eagle at eagle.susan@ymail.com 

 

 

 

Committed to Climate Action: How to Reach 80% Emissions Reduction by 2030

Near Net Zero by 2030 Gathering Events 2024

The Social and Ecological Justice Commission will be holding three new networking meetings in 2024 on these topics.  Please check in here for links and promotional materials a month before the date of the meeting:

Near Net Zero by 2030?: Greening Grounds and Greenbelts

Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 1 p.m. on Zoom

Registration is available here now!

Topics: Using faith community grounds to increase biodiversity and meet community food needs

The Greenbelt Story: how communities can protect a crucial resource

Presenters

headshot margaret Prophet
Margaret Prophet, B.Ed Executive Director  Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition

Margaret has a Bachelor of Education, specialized in Adult Education and a BA of Psychology from Brock University.  She worked in the corporate education sector for 7 years at a Director level including as Director of Communications and Operations.  Margaret decided to pursue her love of community and environment by volunteering for her local ratepayers association (Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association) while taking time to raise her family. This lead to her getting involved with complex land-use planning matters and municipal politics as the Communications Director for the association. Her work led to enlisting the support of Margaret Atwood, Maude Barlow and David Crombie in support of the MRA’s call to protect the internationally significant Minesing Wetlands from urban sprawl. In late 2015, Margaret and Sandy Agnew founded the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition with 15 like minded groups from across the region in support of an expanded Greenbelt.

(https://simcoecountygreenbelt.ca/)

Headshot of Franz
Franz

Franz is the Coordinator of the Alliance for a Liveable Ontario (ALO) a year-old network of groups and individuals focused on advocating a set of policies that simultaneously solve the housing crisis and protect farmland and natural areas. Franz has been actively engaged in environmental issues for over 33 years, with a focus on public engagement and policy advocacy. In 1998 he earned a PhD in urban environmental policy from York University and started working for City Councillor Jack Layton as his environmental advisor until 2002. From 2003-6, he worked with Jack in Ottawa leading Jack’s civil society outreach. From 2007 and 2018 he was the Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. Franz has also been actively involved with the Greenbelt since 2009. and eventually became Chair of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance and then its Coordinator in 2020.

Headshot of Erin Alladin
Erin Alladin

Erin Alladin became interested in the intersection between permaculture and food security when she moved from Northern Ontario to Toronto to pursue a career as an author and book editor. In 2014 she started Garden@Kimbourne Community Permaculture Project on the lawn of Kimbourne Park United Church, where she discovered a passion for teaching others to grow food in ways that are good for the community and the earth. When she moved north again in 2020, Garden@Kimbourne continued to thrive, and she continued to find ways to teach, by sharing videos on social media and starting a blog, Earth Undaunted, that makes the  big ideas behind regenerative agriculture accessible to people growing on a home scale.

Links to share:

Follow my gardening/sustainability content on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok at @ErinAlladin

Earth Undaunted blog: https://earthundaunted.com/

Upcoming Events

Near Net Zero by 2030?: Heat Pumps and Geothermal Loops

Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 1 p.m. on Zoom

Registration will be available here on March 13th, 2024.

Topic: Exploring current options for reducing emissions while heating homes and faith-community buildings.

 

Near Net Zero by 2030?: Financing and Grant-Writing

Wednesday, November 6, 2024 at 7 p.m. on Zoom

Registration will be available here on October 6th, 2024.

Topics: Exploring government and non-government financing options in Canada for climate actions.

Finding support for the process of applying for financing (grant-writing).

Touching on the concept of personal divestment from fossil gas.

Near Net Zero by 2030? Zoom Gatherings 

November 4, 2023 

On Saturday November 4, 2023 at 1 pm, we held our Near Net Zero by 2030? Harnessing Communities online event. At this meeting, we discussed how to network with other Faith Communities as you access expertise on awakening climate action in your community, and how to help your Faith Community become a center for inspiring political change and ecological justice to create a sustainable future. If you could not attend, you can check the video recording of the entire event on the left side. To download the PDF containing the content of the presentation, click here.

 

June 21, 2023

On June 21, 2023, we held our Near Net Zero by 2030: Green Design online event. At this meeting, we discussed installing renewable energy, adopting electric transportation, and waste reduction. If you could not attend, you can check the video recording of the entire event on the left side. To download the PDF and Power Point containing the content of the presentation, click below:
ESJ Committee Green Design Case Study 1
ESJ Committee Green Design Case Study 2
ESJ Committee Green Design Case Study 3
ESJ Committee Green Design JG EC

March 20, 2023

On March 20th, 2023, we held our Near Net Zero by 2030 online event. At this meeting, we discussed retrofitting church buildings with minimal resources and how to find creative ways to reduce emissions in our church buildings without bankrupting our budgets. If you could not attend, you can check the video recording of the entire event on the left side. To download the PDF containing the content of the presentation, click here.

 

Resources

The Social Justice and Ecological Commission recognized in 2021 that churches need support in light of the 44th General Council Resolution to …  In light of this, the Commission is offering what we hope will be a series called Committed to Climate Action.

In our first meeting we discussed what is driving the need for the Council’s lofty goal.  We also suggested a direction for churches that are striving to reach this goal, an evidence-based direction.  While doing so, we also recognize that solutions must be place-based and inclusive and we will be spending time listening to you to find out what is working and what is needed as we plan for future installments.

At the meeting, expect:

  • a short synopsis of the current climate situation from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    IPCC reports [ PDF |  23 pages ]
  • the General Council Resolution: GS08 Climate Justice Committment  [ PDF | 3 pages ] and its background
  • direction for churches striving to meet the bold 80% reduction targets, including ideas for thinking outside the church-building box and towards:
  • financing tips and unique solutions for retrofitting and renewable energy installations
  • time to share your own ideas as we struggle to direct our efforts in the most efficient and evidence-based ways

We are working to generate ongoing resources for you as well.  This information can be used as a starting point and we will work on updating it and correcting it as needed.  Along with it, though, please take time to visit the Faithful Footprints website and particularly the page that includes this self-guided audit [ PDF | 62 pages ]

Encouraging Others

Communicating About Climate Change – [ PDF – 4 pages ] – How to have conversations with friends and family about climate change.

Targeting Climate Change – A Method for Mobilizing Communities – [ PDF – 2 pages ]

Personal and Institutional Climate Action Plans – [ PDF – 3 pages ]

Climate Crisis Urgency by Peter M DeVita from October 2019 – [ PDF – 5 pages ]

Researchers home in on 5 type of messages that focus people on climate action by Sarah DeWeerdt (Oct. 25, 2022) – article from Anthropocenemagazine.org website.

Top 50 Things to Do to Stop Global Warming – [ PDF – 7 pages ] – compiled by globalwarming-facts. info website.

Explaining Climate Change Science and Rebutting Global Warming Misinformation – Link to skepticalscience.com, a website that debunks climate misinformation by presenting peer-reviewed science and explaining the techniques of science denial.

Advocacy Initiatives

Rules of Engagement

  • If you contact your MP, introduce yourself as a constituent—MPs tend to put much more stock in letters from inside their districts.
  • Be brief and respectful.
  • Try to ask a specific question.

 

Contact your Local Political Leader

Contact information for current members of parliament.

Contact information for current members of provinical parliament.

Contact information for your local town or city councillor will most likely listed on your town/city website.

 

Food and Climate Resources

Food waste reduction plan for Senior’s Residence Dining Room service provider Sodexo – Sodexo Leanpath [ PDF | 1 pg ]

What I Eat in a Day | High Protein Vegan Easy Dinner Recipes – YouTube video by Andrew Bernard

RECIPES (Vegan and Vegetarian)

 

Transportation

The Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Year 2021 to 2026 – [ PDF –  500 pgs ] – The draft environmental impact statement from the US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July 2018.

Plug’n Drive – A non-profit Canadian organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in order to maximize their environmental and economic benefits.

Top 20 Plugin Electric Vehicles in the World by Jose Pontes (Oct. 3, 2021) – article from CleanTechnica website

The Second-Life of Used EV Batteries by Hanjiro Ambrose (May 27, 2020) – article from Union of Concerned Scientists website

Five Innovators Making the Electric Vehicle Battery More Sustainable by Natalie Marchant (May 3, 2021) – article from World Economic Forum website.

Batteries Made from Recycled Materials “Better Than New” by Steve Hanley (Oct. 21, 2021) – article from CleanTechnica website.

Tesla Will Change the Type of Battery Cells it Uses in All its Standard-Range Cars by Michael Wayland (Oct. 20, 2021) – an article from CNBC.com.

Lithium Iron Phosphate VS Lithium-Ion: Differences and Advantages by Anton Beck (Sept. 20, 2019) – article on epectec.com website.

Staff Support

Program staff support is pending. If you need assistance please contact:

CELIO de ANDRADE SANTOS Jr.

CELIO de ANDRADE SANTOS Jr.

Administrative Support

Phone: 416-231-7680 | 1-800-268-3781
Extension:  2020
Email: cdeandrade@united-church.ca

Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council and Canadian Shield Regional Council

Location: Teleworks and works in the Guthrie office

Role: Celio provides administrative support to Shining Waters and Canadian Shield Regional Councils.