Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
As God’s children we are tasked with stewardship of our environment. We are all concerned about the catastrophic impact of climate change. This is an issue of environmental justice as well. Climate change has disproportionate effects on the poor and marginalized, leads to increased social disparity and global instability. As a church we can take action. In 2022, the National Church adopted a resolution at the General Convention to commit to goal of Net Carbon Neutrality in operations by 2030. The Diocese of Northern California, at the November 2022 convention, called upon parishes and schools to determine how to become carbon neutral by 2030. The diocese has also provided resources to assist parishes in this endeavor. To that end, the Vestry here at St. Michael’s has formed the Green Team to investigate how we as a church, and as individuals, can become carbon neutral. The committee consists of Rick Larkey, Pat Cole, and Sue Gaston. We began meeting this fall.
So, what does Carbon Neutral mean? It means having a balance between the carbon emitted by a facility and the amount of carbon that is absorbed or removed from the atmosphere. How does a facility implement this goal? By reducing carbon emissions and providing offsets (trees, solar energy, purchase of offsets) to achieve a balance.
The Green Team is already working with SMUD, the Day School, and the Diocese to assess our current status, and evaluate what changes we could make to move to carbon neutral by 2030. Will this cost money? Yes, but it will also result considerable energy savings. There are also rebates, tax credits, etc. that will help offset the costs.
Stay tuned to the Messenger for updates as this work progresses.