Anglican Church of Canada Climate Action

Guiding Principle informing Climate Action:

5th Mark of Mission: "To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”

Action on Climate Change:

  • 2015: in a Good Friday statement facilitated by the  Anglican Communion Environmental Network, bishops around the world committed to:
    • mutual support to develop ecotheological resources & strategies for action
    • fast on the first day of each month
    • strengthen ecumenical/interfaith partnerships with those responding to climate crisis
    • make educational resources on climate change, climate justice, and sustainable living
    • make liturgical resources on Care for Creation
    • call for review of church investment practices & aim to divest
    • call for stronger ethical investment guidelines to include justice for non-human creation
    • call for ecotheology in clergy training
    • call for Anglican educational institution to teach theological approach to climate justice
  • 2015: A resolution at General Synod changed the baptismal covenant in the Book of Alternative Services (BAS) to include: “Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the earth?” as the 9th question of inquiry.
  • 2015: Synods of diocese of Montreal and Ottawa voted to divest from fossil fuels. There was also a call to bring divestment before General Synod 2016, to educate Ottawa Anglicans about climate change, and to make the diocese carbon neutral.
  • 2012: Council of General Synod wrote a letter to the federal government expressing “Disappointment and dismay that the Government of Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto accord and has not replaced it by any plan.” 
  • 2010: General Synod Passed Act 57 on climate change, which stated that it would:
    • press the Canadian government to adopt a comprehensive climate action plan with firm targets for emission reductions
    • encourage dioceses and parishes to include creation care in liturgies
    • work with the “Greening Anglican Spaces” project
    • ask Council of General Synod to estimate annual GHG emissions
    • ask Council of General Synod to get an estimate of its annual GHG emissions, and commit to reductions
  • 2008: Council of General Synod approved and adopted a motion calling all Anglican churches in every diocese, and every Anglican, to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by curtailing their energy consumption.
  • 2005: Council of General Synod recommended the following 

Action by individual Anglicans:

  • Recognize that global climate change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation
  • Commend initiatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sustainable economic practices
  • Understand that, for the sake of future generations and the good of God’s creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy
  • Expect mission, vision, and value statements to contain commitment to environmental responsibility at all levels of church activity
  • Educate all church members about the Christian mandate to care for creation
  • Work on all these issues ecumenically and with all faith communities and people of good will everywhere
  • Ensure that the voices of women, indigenous peoples and youth are heart
  • Press government, industry and civil society on the moral imperative of taking practical steps towards building sustainable communities

Action by the EcoJustice Committee:

  • Include environmental education as an integral part of all theological training
  • Take targeted and specific actions to assess and reduce our environmental footprint, particularly greenhouse gas emissions
  • Promote and commit ourselves to use renewable energy wherever possible
  • Revise our liturgies and our calendar and lectionaries in ways that more fully reflect the role and work of God as Creator
  • Press for urgent initiation of discussions, which should include all nations, leading to a just and effective development beyond the Kyoto Protocol
  • Support the work of the World Council of Churches Climate Change Action Group
  • Bring before governments the imperative to use all means, including legislation and removal of subsidies, to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • 2004: The General Synod articulated support for the Climate Action Network of Canada, called on diocese to engage in advocacy with provincial authorities to ensure effective implementation of the Kyoto accord, and sent a letter to the Federal government asking them to formulate further international agreement towards additional reductions of Greenhouse Gases.
  • 2002: The Council of General Synod endorsed the “Call to Action in Solidarity with Those Most Affected” (a statement prepared by ecumenical development and relief agencies in collaboration with the World Council of Churches), and sent a letter to the Prime Minister supporting ratification of Kyoto Protocols with an achievable implementation strategy.
  • 2002: The Council of General Synod added its voice of “concern and support to those calling for a renewed and committed international approach to the control of those processes which increase global warming and affect climate change,” and urged dioceses and parishes to celebrate the closest Sunday to World Environment Day (June 1) as Environment Sunday.
  • 1996: The Council of the General Synod endorsed the World Council of Churches Climate Change petition on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Interfaith Statements:

Resources Available:

  • Action, Education, and Liturgy resources are available through the Anglican Communion Environment Network on their Creation Matters web page
  • The Anglican Church of Canada has a Creation Matters Working Group that shares info regarding ecological issues & action, and engages Anglicans to live into 5th mark of Mission
  • Ecumenical sermons, small group studies, songs, prayers, and opportunities for action at cpj.ca/climate

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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