Colorado Interfaith Power & Light provides support to individuals and religious communities in their goal to be faithful stewards of God’s creation. We seek to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health and ensure sufficient sustainable energy for all. We cooperate with many people of faith, climate and faith-based organizations, helping form a statewide network. In December 2017 we came together to define common values, who we are and what we intend to do. We will continue this exploration in a statewide conference at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO on Sept. 22nd, 2018
All life is interconnected, and there are many people of faith in Colorado care about the climate and the well-being of all. We believe that faith communities have an essential role to play in responding to the climate crisis. We are uniquely positioned to work on a fair transition to the next system because people of faith share values taught by all major religions that call us to care for one another and for the earth, so that all may live and flourish.
We believe that communities of faith need to lead by educating their communities about the causes and consequences of climate change; discovering and implementing ways to increase our respect and care for creation, and taking responsibility for the carbon intensity of our electricity and power.
We are obliged and committed to being “all in” on the path to a safe climate and peace and abundance for all. We are committed to moving our world, society, and communities away from harmful dependence on fossil fuels and toward healthier, sustainable ways of producing and using energy. Critically, this must be done on a pace that addresses the problem and doesn’t discount the value of any person or generation.
The climate crisis is spiritual and moral as well as physical. We cherish all people, creation and life, all unborn generations. By offering a positive way forward, showing the path needed to stay below 1.5 C and achieve atmospheric carbon equivalent levels of less than 350 ppm this century, we join our human and faith values with hope, courage, and action.
As a coalition of those who care and are committed to doing right, we are seeking and finding what more we can do together as well as encouraging, trusting, and applauding what people are doing now, how you are already moving and being moved. We extend our appreciation of YOUR work and vision and want to see how we might connect and expand on that.
Seeing and having more ways to engage in each other’s work, we will also find further spiritual nourishment, energy and inspiration. We appreciate the collective time, organization, and effort already underway. Now we are putting our heads, hearts, and hands together to bring more faith community support and presence to the fight against the systems of domination and extraction, the powers that put profit over people and a next system that ensures the well-being of all and which is possible.
Many efforts are converging around the necessary shift to clean energy, climate action, and a more fair and just future. We want to bring more people of faith to support:
- Clean Energy Action and Coloradans for a Livable Climate’s ongoing work to transition our state to clean, renewable energy in a timely way that serves Coloradans and our future – 80% by 2030!
- Fossil Free Fast, “keep it in the ground”, getting on a path to 350 ppm or less.
- Our Children’s Trust case to protect the air, atmosphere and climate for future generations.
- FWW.org 100% renewable electricity by 2035 legislation for Colorado and nationally
- Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Ready for 100 campaigns (and 100% and EJ networks nationally). Half of the RF100 campaign contacts and leads are in Colorado – lots to build on!
- The Climate Mobilization calling for an even more rapid transition, Regenerative Futures, WE-All (new narrative/economic transition away from neoliberalism) local and congregational sustainability groups and green teams, and other efforts calling for the rapid shift we know is possible.
- Interfaith Power & Light, GreenFaith and many of these other organizations have said we are “all in” on the Paris goals of 1.5 – “well below 2C” and doing what we need to get there. It’s time to work together to accomplish it!
With the urgency of the systemic challenges facing our communities, country and our world we are looking for ways for faith communities to step forward more powerfully and effectively, in greater numbers, without adding bureaucracy, hierarchy or administrative burden. We are adding ways to meet each other and discuss, as well as craft other ways of coordinating beyond meetings or even having (to have) agreement before action. Time is short and our responsibility (linking, leading) in and among our faith communities is great.
Colorado Interfaith Power & Light is part of a nationwide Interfaith Power and Light movement, with 40 other state organizations and a national Interfaith Power and Light organization based in San Francisco.
We are people of faith and conscience dedicated to stopping the death and destruction caused by the three interacting problems of change in climate, ecosystem and biodiversity. These changes are a profound moral issue and we are dedicated to the restoration of the systemic nature of Creation. At our core we are committed to preserving the integrity of Creation, the capacity of the Earth as a planet with life on it in a relatively stable state for future generations. We are faith-driven and science-based.
Some Areas of Action and Concern:
- Prophetic Naming/Action. We speak truth to power. We name climate change, ecosystem change and biodiversity change (extinction) as moral issues, sin. We name the oppression and oppressors and we stand with the oppressed–with priority for those already suffering from environmental violence. We stand for hope, justice and survival—the way forward. We stand in stewardship, reverence and awe of the majesty and goodness of Creation—and are called by our faith and conscience to act upon that core value.
- Active Non-violence Response to ongoing Structural Violence. We empower people to speak out and act. We support those, who, upon examination of conscience, feel called to active non-violent resistance in fasting and civil disobedience against planetary violence. We are called to organize faith & conscience-driven resistance.
- Examination of Values, Attitudes and Behaviors. We critically reflect upon our personal values, attitudes and behaviors as contributors to planetary changes. We call for examination of own complicity through lifestyles and behaviors that, given what we now know, may today require adjustment to re-align with the core values of Creation with which we identify. This is a societal role that the faith & conscience community has unique capacity—and responsibility—to guide. Many find that the dictates of their faith, and now science, call for a renewal of social, communal and spiritual relationships and reduction in materialistic relationships, especially given the environmental injustice, disease and death they cause to others.
- Pastoral Grief & Hopefulness Counseling. We stand ready to address the psychological trauma of individuals and the societal chronic mental health issues of the profound changes human actions are causing to our only home, planet Earth. At the same time, we find profound hopefulness, strength and perseverance in our spiritual grounding: we see the necessity of a new, emerging, more sustainable social order—and are dedicated to advance it.
- Spiritual Reflection. We call for ecological conversion and reflection on the present moment spiritually.
How We Work: We are taking responsibility for the carbon intensity of our electricity, transportation, and building systems on a local, regional, state, and federal level. IPL advocates, in our Strategic Plans 2014-17 and 2018 for public policy reforms (RE, transit, EV facilities, green building, etc ). And we have a relatively unique societal role in advocacy within the faith and conscience community to reflect, in light of the wisdom of our faith traditions, upon our own values, attitudes and behaviors appropriate to our moral being in the present moment of Creation. Conversion of societal values, attitudes and behaviors, is essential to the depth of the transition required from the perspective of both science and faith or conscience and faith leadership is required to make a social transition on a large scale, as with the Civil Rights movement.
What We Are Working For (Goals or ‘Metrics’): We are dedicated to transitional glide path to living 100% GHG free by 2050 beginning with peaking or turndown of emissions by 2020. We aim for 50% clean by 2025 and 80% clean by 2030. COIPL’s pressure on Xcel helped achieve a commitment to get to 55-60% clean electricity in Colorado by 2026. We will organize successive campaigns around each of these four benchmarks over the long but steady transition process, with immediate priority to the urgency of these benchmarks mitigating the environmental injustice, disease and death caused by the impacts of GHG to all now. We realize some communities are and have been disproportionately impacted by our “throwaway” society and economy of extraction, pursuing money over life, safety and well-being.