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Climate change is the issue of the twenty-first century. It is not one issue among many, but, like the canary in the mine, it is warning us that the way we are living on our planet is causing us to head for disaster.
— Sallie McFague, Vancouver School of Theology
The biblical foundations for creation care unite spirituality with scientific, ecological, and political insights. Through a sense of wonder with creation we are invited to seek God’s will for a flourishing ecological community. In the face of climate change, this need has never been more urgent.
Climate change is already causing the extinction of plant and animal species, the melting of northern glaciers, rising sea levels. As a result, we are now seeing conflict over natural resources, threats to agrarian and fisheries-based livelihoods, large-scale migration, and poverty.
A just transition towards a sustainable economy is needed urgently.
Building on a significant history of environmental engagement, CPJ urges the governments in Canada to adopt better federal climate change policy. Through research, analysis, partnerships, and government engagement, CPJ raises awareness about the urgent need for action. CPJ often works specifically with churches and denominational groups to help them take action on ecological justice. CPJ specializes in providing timely political analysis that often referenced in the media and is well-used by community groups across Canada.
We regularly meet with parliamentarians to provide input on ecological justice issues and legislation. CPJ is a member Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of more than 100 organizations from across the country working together to advance solutions to managing our carbon pollution through sustainable and equitable development.
The Pembina Institute – a Canadian non-profit, sustainable energy think tank – recognized CPJ's executive director, Joe Gunn as a “Clean Energy Champion.”
In 2013, CPJ published Living Ecological Justice: A Biblical Response to the Environmental Crisis, an ecumenical worship and action guide. It includes reflections from various Christian traditions and offers discussion questions, small-group activities, and prayers for Canadian Christians wanting to care and advocate for creation.
In 2017, CPJ launched, Give it up for the Earth!, a Lenten faith-in-action campaign to increase climate justice in Canada.The campaign is centred on a postcard that includes a pledge to individual climate action, and a call for more far-reaching national climate policy. Give it up for the Earth! signaled to the government that Canadians – especially Canadian Christians – are prepared to make lifestyle changes in order to reduce our GHG emissions. And, that we want our government to match and exceed these actions with policy changes that will move us further and faster towards international climate change goals.
Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by over 0.85°C since the industrial revolution. This is concerning because although earth’s climate has always fluctuated, the rate of climate change has increased dramatically due to human activity as societies have industrialized.
Read the latest research from CPJ to learn more about a public justice perspective on ecological issues.
CPJ’s ecological justice and climate change positions are rooted in an understanding that our economy, ecology, and society are interdependent.
In December 2015, the federal government reaffirmed Canada's emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Since then, federal, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments have met to begin work on a national climate action plan. This plan will be finalized in fall 2016 and implemented in early 2017. Canada signed on to the 2015 Paris Agreement but has not developed the domestic policies needed to ratify the agreement.
As Canadians of faith we have a responsibility to protect the earth and care for and all of creation.
Wondering how to start or continue difficult conversations about climate change in your community?
Use CPJ's engaging resources to engage your faith community in reflection and action towards ecological justice. These sermons, prayers, hymns, activities, books, and learning resources are centred on responding to God’s call to faithfully support the flourishing of creation. Read more
Looking for an inspiring, relevant, and practical resource on ecological justice?
Living Ecological Justice: A Biblical Response to the Environmental Crisis is a faith-based learning tool for Canadian Christians trying to live out the justice mandate to care and advocate for creation. It follows on the successful Living Justice: A Gospel Response to Poverty (2011), which was praised for being both inspiring and usable.
Want to take concrete steps towards climate justice?
CPJ has set up a online action in partnership with the CRC's Centre for Public Dialogue. Urge your MP to support strong emissions-reducing measures in Canada’s climate action plan. As an expression of love for God’s awesome creation, tell your MP that you, as a person of faith, want meaningful climate action – consistent with the principles of the Paris Agreement – to reduce GHG emissions and address climate change.
Want to know what CPJ staff have been saying on ecological justice?
Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views from CPJ on climate change and ecological justice by reading the articles written by CPJ staff and citing CPJ’s work. Read more
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