Achive: UU-UNO Climate Initiative Activities



UU-UNO Climate Activities - Historical Overview

  • The UU-UNO Climate Change Initiative was led by the Climate Change Task Force

  • The UU-UNO Climate Change Initiative acted in conjunction with organizations at the UN, in particular, the NGOCSD-NY [NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in NY]. This committee produced the document "Climate Change: A Discussion Paper" which was hand-delivered to leaders at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference, presented at the Klimaforum, and was supported by over 100 NGOs. The statement is issued annually. It was updated and distributed for the 2010-2016 Climate Conferences [Cancun, Durban, Doha, Warsaw, Lima, Paris, and Marrakech]. The editor of this document is Dr. Jan Dash, climate advisor to the NGOCSD-NY.

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HISTORY:  UUA/UU-UNO Accreditation for Credentialing Observers to the Paris Climate Conference

The history of how the UUA was accredited (or "admitted") to designate observers at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference COP21, able to attend events in the "Blue Zone", is long. It started in 2009-2010 when as the head of the Climate Change Initiative of the UU-UNO Board of Directors, I urged that the UU-UNO should apply to become accredited by the UNFCCC as an observer organization. The process started too late for the Copenhagen 2009 Climate Conference. Fortunately Lynn and I were able to attend Copenhagen under the umbrella of a Catholic NGO.

In 2010, I provided input to the UU-UNO application to the UNFCCC to become accredited/admitted, but that application somehow fell through the cracks. In 2012 a second application was successfully achieved by UU-UNO Climate Intern Anunay Swaroop, with the Observer Organization Liaison Office in Bonn, Germany (UNFCCC). The UU-UNO had merged with the UUA by 2012, so the UUA became the UU credentialing observer organization.

In 2015, the UU-UNO applied for UUA observer passes for COP21 to the UNFCCC. The desirability of UUA observers at COP21 was part of the Action of Immediate Witness "Support a Strong, Compassionate Global Climate Agreement in 2015: Act for a Livable Climate" of the 2015 UUA General Assembly. Three observer passes were granted, which were divided into weekly groups. Also UU-UNO Intern Jen Caplan facilitated two observer UUs to participate in a side event - Rev. Peggy Clarke and myself.

The UU-UNO activities leading to these successful outcomes were performed under Bruce Knotts (Director, UU-UNO).

No funds from the UUA or the UU-UNO have ever been provided for observers, to my knowledge.

I hope this history is helpful. 

Jan Dash

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Climate Action Team Pamphlet - Launch Final


UU-UNO Climate Initiative Strategic Plan MISSION: GOALS, Activities 

HERE is the 2013 UU-UNO Climate Initiative Strategic Plan. 



Also for historical interest, HERE is the 2011 UU-UNO Climate Initiative Final Board Strategic Plan report, in the format required by the UU-UNO Board at that time. It has the details of the mission of providing motivation for climate action in order to achieve the overall vision of a world with mitigated climate change viable for us and future generations. GOALS are the top of each section in ITALICS, and ACTIVITIES carried out to achieve each of these goals are listed as bullet points. If there is a streaming error, just click on the link below.

UU-UNO Climate Report Final Board Meeting June 2011_Final

 Here is a previous 2010 UU-UNO Climate Initiative Strategic Plan Report. 

UU-UNO Climate Initiative Update July2010



Suggestions for UU Climate Action in 2010

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The UU-UNO Climate Change Task Force CCTF that used to lead the UU-UNO Climate Initiative had an Executive Committee comprised of UU-UNO Director Bruce Knotts and former UU-UNO Board members Dr. Jan Dash (Chair), Pamela V'Combe, Kent Price (former Board VP), Larry Danos, and Steve Wade. Other CCTF members included Guy Quinlan, Doug Stewart, Natalie Shuttleworth, Rev. Earl Koteen, and Mark Swirsky. Advisers to the CCTF were Prof. Tony Broccoli (Rutgers U., scientific adviser), Dr. Paul Dash (climate/health adviser), and Joel DeWitt (technology adviser). Our Youth Co-ordinator was Ryan Dash.

The UU-UNO has a program for climate interns, who were adjunct members of the CCTF. 

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UU-UNO Climate Events in 2016

UUA International UU-UNO: "Ethical Eating: A Solution to Climate Change

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UU-UNO Climate Events in 2014

Climate Change: Implications for Maternal Mortality and Disease

UU-UNO CSW Event Mar2014

Talks at the 2014 event:

CC Health Women 2014-Final (Dr. Jan W. Dash)


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UU-UNO Climate Events in 2013

Food Security, Nutrition, and Land Degradation: 
Climate-Resilient Solutions

Description: Access to nutritious food is a human right. However, there is a serious discrepancy in the world between access and availability of food. In addition, climate change is endangering food security and has many negative implications for agricultural production due to increased environmental stress including drought, heat, and shifts in water availability, with areas currently suffering from food insecurity most at risk. Extreme events are already more frequent and severe and will continue to increase.


Climate change and small island states event


Another climate event organized by UU-UNO Climate Intern Maria Dahlmann was part of her NYU/UU-UNO "climate think tank" project. Speakers were:

  • Jeffrey Waheed, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Maldives to the UN
  • Esperanza Garcia, MS Candidate, Earth Institute, Columbia U.
  • Dr. Jan Dash, UU-UNO Climate Initiative Chair (see talk below)

Dash Climate NYU Mar2013


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UU-UNO Climate Events in 2012

The 2012 Intergenerational UU-UNO Spring Seminar on Race and Immigration (see here) had a panel on Climate Change and Migration. The presenters were Dr. Pamela McElwee (Rutgers U.) and Dr. Jan Dash (UU-UNO Climate Initiative Chair).

Here is Jan Dash's presentation:

Climate and Migration talk DASH, UU-UNO Spring Seminar 2012


Here is Dr. Pamela McElwee's presentation:

Migration and CC_McElwee

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 UU-UNO Climate Program Events in 2011

The Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change endorsed by the UU-UNO was presented to Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, at the 2011 Durban Climate Change Conference.




The 2011 Intergenerational UU-UNO Spring Seminar Empower Women for a Better World (see HERE) had a panel on Women and Climate Change. The presentations were by Kim Lovell (Conservation Organizer, Global Population and Environment Program, Sierra Club), Tuya Goulden (International Travel Liaison, Asia Center, Academy of Natural Sciences), and Dr. Jan Dash (UU-UNO Climate Initiative Chair). 

The final seminar statement contained these points related to climate:

Whereas: ... Global climate change exacerbates war and gender disparity;

We hereby resolve to: ... Encourage women to educate, advocate, and organize to support sustainable living.

Here is Jan Dash's presentation:

Women and CC, DASH, UUUNO Seminar 2011


Here is Kim Lovell's presentation:

Kim Lovell UU-UNO Presentation


Here is Tuya Goulden's presentation:

Tuya Goulden_UUUNO_Presentation


2011 Greeley talk

The title was "The Ethical Aspects of Climate Change". Unfortunately the talk, whatever its merits, had nothing to do with the ethical aspects of climate change or even with climate change at all. This was a badly organized event. It was badly received by those who had come to hear a serious discussion of climate change and were disappointed by the missed opportunity. Many simply walked out. The transcript including the talk and ensuing discussion is HERE.

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UU-UNO Climate Program Events in 2010

1. The intergenerational UU-UNO Spring Seminar was held April 8-10.  HERE is a one-page introduction to climate change. Seminar presentations are HERE. The final Seminar Statement was delivered to the UN Secretary General, and can be read HERE.

2.  A UU-UNO-sponsored climate talk on "Who Owns the Arctic" by Dr. M. Byers was held at the Canadian Unitarian Council's annual conferenceMay 21-24 in Victoria, BC. 

3. Another UU-UNO climate change event was a panel on Sustainability and Climate Change at the UUA General Assembly in Minneapolis on June 24. The delegates passed a resolution "Green Revolution in Religion".

4. UN Sunday on October 24 with the UU-UNO suggested theme: Ethical Aspects of Climate Change, especially "Ethical Aspects of a Climate Treaty"Watch, read, or listen to UN Sunday sermons by Pamela V'Combe, Catherine Onyemelukwe, Kent Price, and Jan Dash.


Click to listen to talk on Ethical Aspects of a Climate Treaty, by Jan Dash

Talk given at UU San Francisco

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The UU-UNO has an envoy program that sometimes distributed information to UU congregations for targeted action on climate change in which the UU-UNO participates. 

Envoys: CLICK HERE for the Envoy Climate Resource Page

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 UU-UNO joined the UUA

Following the merger of the UU-UNO with the UUA in 2011, the UU-UNO Board of Directors dissolved. There is now a UU-UNO Advisory Board. The UU-UNO Climate Initiative continues unaffected. Here is a report:

The report of the Unitarian Universalist-United Nations Office was presented to the General Assembly Saturday by Bruce F. Knotts, executive director. Knotts highlighted his organization’s role in bringing LGBT, peace, climate change, and womens’ and childrens’ rights issues to the attention of UN delegates.

“This is the kind of thing that our office can do with your support,” Knotts said. The UU-UNO and the UUA will be working even closer together starting next week. As of July 1 the UU-UNO will become a part of the UUA’s Office of International Resources, headed by the Rev. Eric Cherry.

Earlier this year UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales noted that having the office under the UUA’s umbrella would prove advantageous. “The big moral issues of our time tend to cross national borders, whether it’s about climate change, LGBT rights, such as in Uganda, or immigration. To put these issues in an international perspective is appropriate and really the only reasonable way to approach it.”

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Last edit 6Sep2017

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