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Eco-Justice Resolutions

a Resolution on Energy Conservation and Global Warming for Diocesan Headquarters and National Church Headquarters

This resolution is pending at the 129th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark (NJ), scheduled for January 2003.

RESOLVED, that this 129th Convention of the Diocese of Newark calls upon the Diocese, through its Diocesan Council and Environmental Commission, to commission an energy audit of Episcopal House to identify the means of reducing energy use at Episcopal House by 10%, and to share the audit results and related resources with the congregations of the diocese, and proceed to implement recommendations from the audit with the goal of reducing energy consumption by the targeted amount, and be it further

Resolved that the General Convention of the Church authorize a similar audit at the national church headquarters, with the audit process and results shared with the wider church through appropriate means, and be it further

Resolved that the General Convention of the Church call on those bodies overseeing the development of a new Church Center at General Seminary in New York incorporate in their architectural, financial and operational plans measures to insure that the new headquarters functions in a manner that minimizes energy use and environmental impact, exploring options including but not limited to solar power, LEED certification and Integrated Pest Management.

Submitted by Fletcher Harper, Ed Hasse

Supporting Information:

Energy production and use in the US is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions have been proven to create global warming. Global warming is likely to cause changes in sea levels and disease vectors, and an increased number of catastrophic weather occurrences globally. These effects will almost certainly impact the poor and most vulnerable in developing countries disproportionately.

Despite a strong scientific consensus on the threats posed by global warming, the current US administration has withdrawn the US from international accords on global warming and has downplayed the importance of this critical threat to global well-being. This absence of Federal leadership makes it even more important that the church serve as a model of and advocate for sustainable energy use.

US institutions and households today generally are able to conserve substantial amounts of energy, resulting in financial savings and benefit to the environment. The church should model responsible energy use as a way of fighting global warming and of setting an example in the intelligent restraint in the use of resources for the well-being of all. The Environmental Commission, through Partners for Environmental Quality, has identified the most experienced religious facilities energy auditor in the country, located in Philadelphia and recently recognized by the Environmental Protection Administration for his work. This auditor is available to help the diocese and National Church identify specific strategies to reduce energy use and costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

LEED certification s a process that ensures that a building is functioning in a highly efficient manner regarding energy use and environmental impact.

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The Episcopal Ecological Network is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church.  Members come from the provinces of the Episcopal Church USA.  The activities of the Episcopal Ecological Network are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action.  We invite you to visit us often as we expand the information on our pages.

If you would like to contact any of these groups or to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.

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last update:  03-02-04
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