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Mexican faith leaders back the carbon trading initiative

March 17 2006:

The Inter-Religious Council of Mexico (ICRM) last month announced that a coalition of religious leaders would work together to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of their houses of worship and to “offset” its impact by investing in clean energy and forestry projects.

These leaders will also reach out to their congregations and communities to inform them of how to take action to address climate change.

“It is time for believers to put their faith into action,” said Carlos Agnesi, Ecology Director of the IRCM. “Our commitment is just the beginning of a global effort to not only address our impacts on climate change, but also to engage our broader communities to take action of their own.”

In the commitment to address climate change, the IRCM has been joined by representatives from several religious groups. His Excellency Dr. Karan Singh, Temple of Understanding (India); the Central Conference American Rabbis, Environment Office (USA); the Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation; the Au Sable Institute for Environmental Studies; the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (USA); Episcopal Commission of Social Pastoral (Mexico); the Latin American Council of Churches; Dr. Sayyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies, Georgetown University; the Alliance of Religions and Conservation; and the Temple Emanuel of Greater Washington, D.C. (USA) are just some of the groups who will support the initiative.

The commitment builds on a joint statement by many of these leaders and others calling on governments to address climate change. By taking their own action on this issue, the religious leaders aim to be an example, and to show how their efforts not only benefit the global environment, but also serve other spiritual priorities.

The World Religious Climate Change Initiative has a goal to reach 50,000 congregations this year and 250,000 by 2008.
Activities that reduce green house gas emissions, such as energy efficiency investments, reforestation or renewable energy projects, also often improve local health and environment and alleviate poverty.

“It is not enough to care about environmental issues such as climate change, forest devastation and environmental threats to clean water, air and seas. Now let every religious institution become a true beacon to our communities illustrating by our actions and example our spiritual commitment to our earth and its threatened and limited resources,” said the Rabbi Warren G. Stone, Rabbi of Temple Emanuel, Greater Washington, D.C.

“May our religious communities serve as a model to the myriad homes which can now follow this example in their private lives thus having in impact on our children, future generations and all creation.

This scheme has also been linked with the World Religious Climate Change Initiative launched by The Carbon Fund. By investing in efficiency and other climate-friendly projects it is possible to offset the CO2 produced by places of worship and households.

The Carbon Fund Initiative underlines the need to reduce energy consumption and our own impact on the creation in the first place. But while we look for better ways to do this, we should also apply ways of offsetting our actions. The World Religious Climate Change Initiative has a goal to reach 50,000 congregations this year and 250,000 by 2008.

Following this initiative Guadalajara Cathedral has purchased from the Mexican Fondo Bioclimático, 49.5 tonnes of CO2, offset by trees to be planted. This way it hopes to neutralize its energy emissions for one year.



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March 17 2006:
Mexican faith leaders back the carbon trading initiative
The Inter-Religious Council of Mexico this month announced that a coalition of religious leaders would work together to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of their houses of worship and to “offset” its impact by investing in clean energy and forestry projects.