Achive: UU-UNO Climate Initiative Activities

ARCHIVE: UU-UNO CLIMATE INITIATIVE

2009 - 2016  

 

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UU-UNO Climate Initiative - Historical Overview

  • The UU-UNO Climate Change Initiative was a vigorous UU entity that acted on climate change for years. The Climate Initiative was initiated in 2009 by Dr. Jan Dash, who came to the UU-UNO Board for this purpose, and Bruce Knotts, UU-UNO Director. It was led by a Climate Change Task Force consisting of some UU-UNO Board members, and others. It no longer functionally exists in this form.

  • 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 still issued annually. It was updated and distributed for all the 2010-2016 UNFCCC International Climate Conferences [Cancun, Durban, Doha, Warsaw, Lima, Paris, and Marrakech, Bonn]. The editor of this document is Dr. Jan Dash, climate advisor to the NGOCSD-NY.

  • The UU-UNO acted to "Counter the Contrarians". The UU-UNO Climate Initiative produced one-line responses to contrarian arguments, published HERE on the popular website skepticalscience.com

  • A major part of the Climate Initiative was the construction of this website, originally the UU-UNO Climate Portal, with the goal of providing extensive information on a wide range of climate topics collected from reliable sources. As of 12/1/2015, the name of the website became simply the Climate Portal.

  • The UU-UNO had a goal to get climate "back on the front page" with the specific goal of UUs implementing the UUA 2006 Statement of Conscience: "Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change". The UU-UNO Climate Initiative participated in collaborative efforts with other UU environmental groups. Members of the UU-UNO Climate Initiative gave climate talks at UU congregations and at UU-UNO climate program events. The UU-UNO made suggestions for unified action on climate change by UUs.

  • The UU-UNO Climate Initiative instituted the UU CATs (UU Climate Action Teams) effort. The idea is to encourage and facilitate networked UU congregational-level groups active in climate change. The vision is a CAT in every UU congregation. Each CAT determines its own climate action agenda. There are no requirements to be a CAT other than agreeing to do something for climate. A CAT can also be another group - e.g. Green Sanctuary. See HERE for more information.

  • The UU-UNO had representatives at the 2009  Copenhagen Climate Conference. Here is the direct Copenhagen reporting blog. Blogs are also on the Climate Portal subsequent Climate Conferences.

  • A number of talks on climate change were given at faith-based, environmental, and university groups, see HEREClick to hear the talk on Ethical Aspects of a Climate Treaty, by Jan Dash

  • The UU-UNO was a signatory to many letters and petitions on climate change issues with other faith-based and environmental groups, and other UU organizations. For example, here is a letter to the US Climate Envoy to the Copenhagen Conference. Here is an Interfaith Declaration. Here are two letters to Sen. Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:  letter #1 and letter #2. Here is a letter to senators. Other climate letters were issued and supported.

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HISTORY of the  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 my wife Lynn and I were able to attend the Copenhagen Conference 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, as of this writing (2016).

I hope this history is helpful. 

Jan Dash

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CLIMATE ACTION TEAMS

The UU-UNO Climate Initiative instituted the UU CATs (UU Climate Action Teams) effort. The idea is to encourage and facilitate networked UU congregational-level groups active in climate change. The vision is a CAT in every UU congregation in the US and Canada.

Each CAT determines its own climate action agenda. There are no requirements to be a CAT other than agreeing to do something for climate. A CAT can also be another group - e.g. Green Sanctuary.

See HERE for more information.

Climate Action Teams - Original Pamphlet 

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PEOPLE

The UU-UNO Climate Change Task Force CCTF that led 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 2015

As mentioned above, in 2015 the UU-UNO applied for UUA observer passes for the Paris Climate Conference COP21 to the UNFCCC (also see HERE). 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 Dr. Jan Dash.

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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.

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Climate change and small island states event

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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 Initiative 2013 Strategic Plan MISSION: GOALS, Activities 

HERE is the 2013 UU-UNO Climate Initiative Strategic Plan to give an idea of its scope. 

UU-UNO_CLIMATE_CHANGE_STRATEGIC_PLAN_FINAL_2013

 

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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 Events in 2011

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

 

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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.

 

 

2011 SPRING SEMINAR

 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

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2011 Greeley talk

The title was supposed to be "The Ethical Aspects of Climate Change". Unfortunately the talk had nothing whatever to do with the ethical aspects of climate change, or with climate change at all. The event was badly received by those who had come to hear a serious discussion of climate change. Many walked out. The transcript including the talk and ensuing discussion is HERE.

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UU-UNO Climate 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 conference, May 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.

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

UU-UNO Climate Initiative Update July2010

 

SUGGESTIONS FOR UU CLIMATE ACTION - 2010

Suggestions for UU Climate Action in 2010

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UU-UNO CLIMATE EVENTS IN 2009

2009 marked the beginning of the UU-UNO Climate Initiative. Lynn and Jan Dash attended the Copenhagen Climate Conference, for Jan's blog see HERE. Jan gave a talk at the parallel Klimaforum. The CSD Climate Statement was distributed. 

The Climate Portal was started. 

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UU-UNO ENVOYS

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 participated. 

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 3Nov2017

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