Canadian Unitarian Council Climate Action

Statement on climate change:

"Canadian Unitarian Universalists recognize that the ecological support systems upon which all life depends are threatened. A growing world population and the failure of our institutions to manage economic growth have created an environmental crisis. Climate change is an acknowledged result of these failures – negative impacts to ecological and social systems worldwide are already being felt. This is a profoundly moral issue; as a religious community, it is incumbent upon us to foster the ethics and values that will ensure the continued existence of a world as beautiful and productive as that which we know as our home" (2009 Updated Environmental Policy).

Climate Action:

  • The Canadian Unitarian Council has written many letters to the government asking for attention to environmental issues.
  • 2015: Fossil Fuel Divestment: CUC asked members to review congregational investments and divest from top 200 companies based on their holding of carbon reserves (coal, oil, natural gas). Members were also asked to advocate municipalities and then prov/fed governments to establish the rights to clean air, water, and soil, (bluedot campaign) and the right to know what pollutants are being released. The CUC environment group administered a member survey on divestment (for 2016/17 CUC reporting).
  • 2013: CUC resolution on Climate Change Mitigation encouraged members’ organisations to sponsor climate change educational opportunities, and identified advocacy groups that members can work with to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
  • 2013: CUC resolved to Oppose Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and the Related Passage of Oil tankers Through the Douglas Channel.
  • 2010: CUC Indicated Support fort the Climate Change Accountability Act to senators.
  • 2009: Updated the 1999 resolution on the Environment to address continuing pressures on the environment and so include climate change.
  • 1999: The CUC created its environment policy: “Canadian Unitarian Universalists recognize that the ecological support systems upon which all life depends are threatened by industrial civilization…” The policy outlines 8 environmental principles. Along with this policy, the CUC proposed 10 Environmental Actions that the church can take (including: “Encourage the government of Canada to ensure that this nation achieves the goal agreed to in the Kyoto convention,” and “support research into and development of alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels”).
  • 1999: The CUC created the  CUC Environmental Committee that actively follows climate change, Enbridge & Kinder Morgan Pipelines, and the Foreign Investment Agreement (FIPA).
  • 1997: CUC adopted its Socially Responsible Investment Policy. It resolved to avoid investing funds in corporations involved in nuclear power, military weapons, tobacco, gambling, human rights violations, or non-sustainable environmental practices. The Board of Trustees was asked to appoint an Investment Committee to learn more, attend shareholder meetings, advise the board, and communicate to members.
  • 1967-1988: 12 environmentally related resolutions were passed by the CUC. Most urged the federal government to better control pollution of water, air, and soil by human waste.

Resources Available: 

Please note: CPJ has compiled this resource using publicly available information to help people of faith join the action already being taken by their national church. It is not meant as a comprehensive history, but if we’ve missed something important please let us know by emailing climate@cpj.ca.

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