Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) and its 40 state affiliates, encourage congregations of all faiths to save energy, go green, and respond to climate change. IPL is excited to announce the first 20 Certified Cool Congregations. These exemplary houses of worship have proven that they are reaching significant carbon pollution reductions in response to global warming that often surpass the U.S. goal of 17% outlined by President Obama in his Climate Action Plan.
Driven by a common mandate to be good stewards of Creation, the first 20 Certified Cool Congregations are averaging 42% greenhouse gas reductions, showing that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Their stories are both practical and hopeful. IPL president, the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, says, “These congregations are leading the way. They are putting their faith into action and bringing moral responsibility to the forefront of the movement to protect the climate.”
The 20 Certified Cool Congregations listed here are jointly preventing 2.2 million pounds (1,000 metric tons) of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere every year. This is the equivalent of not burning one million pounds of coal every year, or preserving 820 acres of mature forest every year, or planting 25,000 trees every year, or asking Americans to drive 2.3 million miles less every year. And that’s just 20 congregations. The nation has 370,000 congregations.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR estimates that if all of America’s congregations cut energy use just 20% it would save nearly $630 million per year, and prevent more than 2.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of eliminating emissions from 480,000 cars from the road.
IPL heartily congratulates and thanks the first 20 Certified Cool Congregations for their inspiring efforts.
40% and above CO2 Reduction – Gold Medallion
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Framingham, MA
Crosslake Presbyterian, Crosslake, MN
Temple Beth El, Stamford, CT
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Tucson, AZ
Unitarian Universalist Church, Bloomington, IN
St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, Dover, MA
Flagstaff Federated Community Church, Flagstaff, AZ
Church of the Brethren, Modesto, CA
30% CO2 Reduction – Blue Medallion
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, TN
Salvisa Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Salvisa, KY
First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, Shaker Heights, OH
Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Laurel, MD
Central Union Church, Honolulu, HI
St. Thomas, Bloomington, IN
20% CO2 Reduction – Red Medallion
Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY
First Universalist Church of Rockland, Rockland, ME
Community Church of Durham, UCC, Durham, NH
Brackett Memorial UMC, Peaks Island, ME
10% CO2 Reduction – Green Medallion
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Prairie Village, KS
First Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY