(UPDATED Monday, November 16, 2015 to include updated numbers of pledge-takers and updated list of congregations taking the pledge.)

World leaders may be meeting in Paris this fall to work on international agreements limiting carbon emissions—but congregations and individuals can do their part, too.

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light is encouraging congregations and individuals to take the Paris Pledge to reduce their own carbon emissions to lead the way and show that taking action against climate change is not only possible, but the right and moral thing to do.Paris Pledge internal

The Paris Pledge calls for reducing an individual’s or congregation’s carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050. Negotiators at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be striving for similar goals when two weeks of international talks begin in Paris on Nov. 30.

To take the Paris Pledge, visit www.parispledge.org.

The Paris Pledge is being led by Interfaith Power & Light—Iowa IPL is the state’s chapter of that organization. The Rev. Sally Bingham, the national organization’s president and founder, hopes to present the list of individuals and congregations taking the pledge to UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon to show people of faith will lead by example.

“We are going to take the Pledge to Paris with us, showing the world that the United States faith community can reduce their carbon emissions even further than the governments have pledged to do,” Bingham said. “Our reductions are steeper than the U.S. government’s because we teach and preach in our congregations that this is the greatest moral challenge of our time. Religious voices bring moral authority. We are going to be the agents of change.”

Already in Iowa as of Nov. 16, 87 people have signed the pledge. Also, five Iowa congregations have taken the pledge:

  • Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities in Davenport.

    “We signed the Paris Pledge because we felt we could do no less as stewards of God’s awesome creation,” Pastor Rich Hendricks said. “It won’t be too difficult for any people of faith and we encourage all houses of worship to sign on!”

  • First Lutheran Church in Decorah.

    The congregation has already reduced its carbon emission by 50 percent by taking several steps, including installing solar panels in August 2014.

  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities in Davenport.
  • Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge.
  • Luther College in Decorah is also listed among the pledge-taking congregations.
Take the Paris Pledge today. Sign the Pledge at www.parispledge.org.

When you sign the pledge, you will receive an email from Interfaith Power & Light with resources and tips that can help you reduce your carbon emissions and fulfill your pledge.

How to convince others to take the Paris Pledge