UU Climate Action Network

New Commit2Respond UU Climate Justice Campaign

The Commit2Respond is an effort of a coalition of Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience working for climate justice.  Commit2Respond was launched at the People’s Climate March in New York City in September 2014.

The first major events are:

Commit2Respond’s grounding in climate justice means we recognize the central role inequality plays in the current crisis. We envision a future where the most vulnerable are protected from these heart-breaking consequences.

As individuals, congregations, and organizations, we will commit to take action in each of three ways:

  1. shift to a low carbon future
  2. advance the human rights of affected communities
  3. grow the climate justice movement

Find out more about Commit2Respond, and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the movement at commit2respond.org and sign up for Climate Justice Month!

Unitarian Universalist March for Climate Justice

Among the 310,000 participating in the People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014 was a huge faith contingent including thousands of Unitarian Universalists.  Together with people of all faith traditions — Christians, Quakers, Humanists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, my fellow Unitarian Universalists, and others — marched to bring attention to global warming as a moral issue and to issue a call for climate justice.

Below is a collection of media from the march including photos of Unitarian Universalists,  videos and other coverage.

Find yourself in the March!
The following video has footage of the People’s Climate March Faith Contingent. Can you find yourself in the crowd?

Peter Bowden’s Photos, available for use with photo credit

See all 250+ of Peter Bowden’s Photos

UU World Magazine

Commit2Respond  Campaign

At the People’s Climate March the new UU #commit2respond climate justice campaign kicked off.   This campaign, which will be in full swing in 2015,  is a  joint initiative of the following organizations:

You can sign up for updates and share your ideas at Commit2respond.org.  

Connect on Facebook

Connect with other UUs working on climate action and justice (or wanting to)!  Join the  UU Climate Action Network Faceook Group,  space for us to networking,  share resources and organizing.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/uucanJoin our UU Climate Action Facebook Group!

People’s Climate and UUs on The VUU

UU’s Prepare for People’s Climate March

This weekend Unitarian Universalists from across the country are joining in the People’s Climate March!

The Rev. Kate Lore (video below) rode the Climate Train across the country to NYC and has been live tweeting.  Checkout her Peoples Climate tweets here.

You can follow coverage of UU’s at the march on Twitter following the hashtag #Commit2Respond and looking for tweets & retweets from  the @UUClimateAction account.

This weekend the new  UU climate campaign “Commit2Respond” is also being launched.  This campaign is an initiative of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, and Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth!  Learn more and signup for updates at http://commit2respond.org.

I will be at the march helping to document UU participation.  If you’re going to the march, look for me Sunday morning in the Faith Contingent Staging Area where I’ll be interviewing UUs about climate justice.

Want to learn more about what’s happening with Unitarian Universalists at the march?  Check out our Meetup page for the march.


Here’s a video Rev. Lore shared on her way to NYC.

The following episode of the VUU talks about the UUs and the march.



Coverage of Unitarian Universalist Association Vote to Divest

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) voted to divest on June 28 in Providence, RI at its annual General Assembly conference! Below you may find links to coverage of the vote, including the UUA’s press release.

UUA Divestment Coverage Online

Unitarian Universalist Association approves fossil fuel divestment
UU World Magazine, 6.30.14

Why Unitarian Universalists Voted to Divest From Fossil Fuels
CSR Strategy Group, by Simon Billenness, 6.30.14

Entire Unitarian Church Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels
, 6.29.14

Press Release: The Unitarian Universalist Association Joins Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement
UUA, 6.28.14

Video: Debate and Vote on Business Resolution on UUA Fossil Fuel Divestment
UUA General Assembly Live Stream recording, 6.28.14
Tim DeChristopher speaks in favor of resolution at 7 min, 15 seconds.
Vote called at 35 minutes, 20 seconds.

Video: Explaining UUA Boards decision to support divestment resolution
UUA General Assembly Live Stream recording, 6.28.14

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Feb 14-16 Corvallis, Oregon: Transformation without Apocalypse: How to Live Well on an Altered Planet

Event announcement via Claudia Keith, member of the UUFC Climate Justice Steering Committee.


Transformation without Apocalypse: How to Live Well on an Altered Planet
Feb. 14 – 16, 2014
OSU Spring Creek Project Symposium & Faith Services
LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Speakers: Tim DeChristopher, Ursula LeGuin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kathleen Dean Moore, Joanna Macy and many others

JOIN Unitarian Universalists from all over the Western Region who will be attending the Transformation without Apocalypse Symposium at Oregon State University in Corvallis. See below or the attached graphic for details

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis (UUFC) extends a warm invitation to all interested UUs. There will be a special Transformation without Apocalypse Sunday service at UUFC at 9:30 and 11:00 am and a Corvallis Community Climate Change Interfaith Service at 3:00 pm. Our tentative plan includes a reception at UUFC after the Saturday evening keynote talk and lunch Sunday at 1:00pm. http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/node/953

Please let us know by Feb 1 if you need home hospitality. Contact: UUFC admin: office@uucorvallis.org

Proposed UUA Divestment Business Resolution

The proposed Business Resolution on Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Divestment for General Assembly 2014 is now posted on the Unitarian Universalists for Fossil Fuel Divestment and Sustainable Reinvestment website.  Soon a signature gathering process will begin.  The minimum petition requirement is 250 signatures from at least 25 congregations certified by UUA in 2013 with only up to 10 signatures per congregation counting toward the required total.

Environmental Justice Funding Opporunity

Is your  congregation doing collaborative work on environmental justice?  If so, the following notice details an amazing funding opportunity from the  EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreements Program.   This announcement comes as a referral from UUA Green Sanctuary Program manager, the Rev. Karen Brammer.

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program

Enviro Justice LogoThe Office of Environmental Justice has released the Request for Application for the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement. The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (CPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. The CPS Program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. The CPS Program requires selected applicants, or recipients, to use the EPA EJ CPS cooperative agreement as part of their projects. The model aims to address local environmental and/or public health issues in a collaborative manner with various stakeholders such as communities, industry, academic institutions, and others. The total estimated available funding for awards under this competitive opportunity is $1,200,000. EPA anticipates awarding one cooperative agreement per EPA region in amounts of up to $120,000 per award for two years.

Request for Application (RFA) PDF

You can also visit the following website to get a copy of the document and to read more about the EJ CPS Cooperative Agreement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/ej/grants/ej-cps-grants.html

Pre-Application Assistance Calls

The Office of Environmental Justice is holding six pre-application assistance calls. One of the six calls will be conducted in Spanish. Below is a list of dates and times for each call. You can find information about these calls on page 21 of the RFA. To call in, please use the following number and passcode: 1-866-299-3188 and entering the code 202-564-1771 when prompted.

Date Time (Eastern Time)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 9, 2014
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 (en Español)
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 25, 2014
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

The Rev. Fred Small – Climate Solutions: Pathways to Action

The Rev. Fred Small speaks at the November 15th, 2013 “Climate Solutions: Pathways to Action” event held at First Parish in Concord, MA.

The event was co-sponsored by ConcordCAN!, the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, the Social Action Community at First Parish in Concord, Trinitarian Congregational Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Musketaquid Arts and Environment.


Malcolm Bliss, the statewide coordinator for 350MA.

Mark Sentesy, 350MA Engaging Government Coordinator working on the Deval Patrick Climate Legacy Campaign.

Rev. Fred Small, the Senior Minister of First Parish in Cambridge and Co-Chair of Religious Witness for the Earth.” Singer-Songwriter-Song Leader.

Vanessa Rule, Co-Director and lead organizer for “Mothers Out Front” and Director of Community Engagement for “The Better Future Project.”


UUA part of coalition of investors with ‘unburnable’ fossil fuels concerns

UUA LogoThe Unitarian Universalist Association is one of a growing number of investors with concerns over “unburnable” fossil fuel reserves and investment in new fossil fuel projects.  The UUA was one of the organizations raising concerns in this September 9th, 2013 letter.

Read the full story on Inside Climate News:  Wall Street Demands Answers From Fossil Fuel Producers on ‘Unburnable’ Carbon. 

For official UUA news please see the UUA Press Room.

Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst votes unanimously to divest from fossil fuel funds

The following is the press release via Darcy DuMont on Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst’s vote to divest. Read Full Resolution (PDF).


At a congregational meeting on Sunday October 20, members of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst (UUSA) voted unanimously that the Society divest of all fossil fuel funds over the next five yeas.  They voted also to urge the national organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association, to divest; and they voted to support divestment efforts in the wider community, including the Town of Amherst and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The goal of divestment is to draw attention to the seriousness of climate change and the need to combat the powerful coal, oil, and gas companies, which are the major culprits in climate change.  The divestment movement was started by climate activist Bill McKibben, who has stated that the time for small changes is over, that 80% of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must not be burned “or we risk tipping points and irreversible impacts.”

“By divesting, we discredit the fossil fuel companies so that they lose their influence over government,” said Gordon Wyse, President of the Society and member of the UUSA Green Sanctuary Committee. “We don’t have much time here.”

“I’m proud to be a part of this congregation today,” said Alison Wohler, UUSA Minister. “Our vote is absolutely consistent with our UU principles. It’s important to teach our children that we are all about transitioning to a new world of clean, green energy and energy conservation. Critical times for the future of the Earth deserve dramatic, but thoughtful, action like this.”

The UUSA has acted on it’s commitment to green values over the years including receiving Green Sanctuary Certification, having an active Green Sanctuary Committee, sponsoring an annual Connecticut River clean up, ensuring that the meetinghouse is energy efficient, including planning to install solar panels on the new addition, encouraging the purchase of local food, overseeing a voluntary individual carbon tax program for members, and by various other programs to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Two degrees. Globally, we can’t exceed that. “ said  Darcy DuMont, member of the Green Sanctuary Committee and 350 Massachusetts Statewide Divestment Organizer. “Not only are fossil fuel companies continuing business as usual, but they’re exploring for more fossil fuels, using more ways to extract it. They are funding climate denial and lobbying against green energy initiatives. They are the bad guys here.”

With this vote the UUSA joins a growing number of churches, colleges, towns and states across the country, which are bringing pressure to bear on government and industry to act now to slow climate change.

The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in 2013 unanimously passed the 2013 Act Of Immediate Witness to Consider Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry, which asked congregations to consider divesting their funds from the fossil fuel industry. A resolution to divest the national UUA endowment will be voted on at the 2014 General Assembly.

The UUSA resolution supports the petition of Alice Swift et al. to the Town of Amherst, to adopt a policy not to invest in fossil fuel companies, which  Town Meeting will consider in November.

The resolution also supports pending state legislation, S. 1225, which would divest the state pension fund of fossil fuel investments. The bill is sponsored by Senator Ben Downing and would divest the fund of fossil fuel companies gradually, 20% per year, over a period of 5 years.

Read Full Resolution (PDF)