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American Climate Leadership Summit: Guidance from Preceding Faith Leaders Leads to 'Taking Up the Mantle'

By Nichole Tucker
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In a few weeks, ecoAmerica will host the 2017 American Climate Leadership Summit. The summit promises to provide opportunities for multisector communication on climate, as it draws leaders from state and local government, corporations, universities, and other organizations.

Historically, the American Climate Leadership Summit has been a platform for climate leadership strategy that is soon-after enforced throughout the nation by participating parties. Along with its two-day agenda that allows for presentation, discussion, and networking; ecoAmerica releases a Recommendations Report following the event. Last year’s report provided helpful advice for Climate Solutions that will be equally relevant this year as leaders begin Taking Up the Mantle.

Five Recommendations for Engaging Faith Communities

In 2016, the United States led climate solutions by passing important legislation and partnering with other progressive countries as a member of a United Nations-run accord known as the Paris Climate Agreement. When leaders gathered at the 2016 American Climate Leadership Summit, these recommendations were produced specifically to guide faith leadership around climate change.

Connect climate to core faith values. Relating climate awareness and action to the values in a particular faith can increase community understanding. This can be accomplished through sharing scripture or aligning climate activity with faith traditions.

Employ hope, inspiration, and stories. Using positive language, faith leaders should communicate the impact of climate change, noting the suffering and injustice that it brings about.

Transform our congregations and families. Humans are the known cause of the world’s current climate reality. Faith communities can limit their impact on the planet by creating better habits. This starts with updating the energy sources used in places of worship and minding the plants growing nearby and the way people of faith travel from place to place.

Become climate literate. Without true knowledge about the changing climate and how it impacts people, leaders cannot effectively reach their followers. However, by knowing key information and keeping up with new developments in the climate spectrum, leaders can continue to engage their congregation.

Reintroduce a love of creation. Love of creation is an interfaith practice. People of faith can continue to practice this love through litany and prayer.

Taking Up the Mantle

This year’s summit will bring together 350 climate leaders who are already working toward climate solutions. Now responding to the limited climate response, leaders in state and local government, faith, and health have committed to Taking Up the Mantle.