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First Presbyterian Church of Urbana Signs Paris Pledge

At First Presbyterian of Urbana, members are keenly aware of the profound moral imperative for taking action on climate change. There is a growing awareness that climate change must be addressed boldly and soon.

First Presbyterian Church of Urbana's Earth Care Team
First Presbyterian Church of Urbana's Earth Care Team

The congregation has an active and involved Green (Earth Care) Team, which for the past six years has identified, encouraged and supported opportunities for the congregation and its members to protect Creation.

Recently, with the help of Interfaith Power & Light, of which Faith in Place is the Illinois affiliate, First Presbyterian Church took another step by signing the "Paris Pledge" authored by the national organization.

In December 2015, world leaders convened in Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference. Scientists and activists called upon world leaders to keep global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels by making dramatic shifts in energy sources and carbon emissions.

Interfaith Power and Light believes faith communities set a powerful example by “practicing what they preach.”

Faith communities that sign the Paris Pledge promise to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. In doing so, these faith communities urge nations to take similarly audacious and urgent action in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

In December 2015 the Earth Care Team at First Presbyterian brought a request to First Presbyterian's Session, or governing board, to sign the Paris Pledge. The Session voted unanimously to do so, and to encourage congregants to make similar personal commitments.

First Presbyterian Church of Urbana is the fifth faith-based organization in Illinois to take the Paris Pledge, and the first "down state." We hope additional organizations will view the Paris Pledge as an opportunity to guide and inspire faithful people to care for Earth.

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