Media Releases

Faith groups to examine climate change as a moral issue

April 12, 2010

TORONTO, ON – How is climate change a moral issue? What can people of faith do to be part of the solution?

At a two-day retreat starting on Friday, April 16, 2010, leaders from different faith traditions will meet with environmental and international development communities in Toronto to discuss these key questions and initiate planning to tackle climate change. Media are invited to attend all or part of the two-day sessions, which will run at the national offices of the United Church of Canada at 3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300.

The retreat, organized by the University of Toronto, the University of Calgary and the Pembina Institute, is meant to spark dialogue between different religious groups with the goal of creating a cooperative, faith-backed strategy on climate change.

“It is critical that we adopt a new ecological ethic, informed by our faith traditions, that prompts us to live in ways that are mutually enhancing for us and the rest of creation,” says Dennis O’Hara from the University of St. Michael’s College at UofT.

Sessions on Friday, April 16 will focus on understanding climate change through a faith-based lens. Some of the covered topics will include:

–          Climate change, global climate justice and the impact on the world’s poor

–          Climate change and environmental decline as moral issues

On Saturday, April 17, sessions will focus on what faith groups can actively do to combat climate change and spark action within their communities. Some of the covered topics will include:

–          Effective engagement with multi-faith communities

–          The Abolition of Slavery movement in England and the Civil Rights Movement: a model for the creation care and climate justice movement

A full schedule of events and speakers is available here: http://www.ucalgary.ca/oikos/Retreat/Toronto/Program

To register for all or part of the retreat, please contact Lauryn Drainie at 416-593-0906 or ldrainie@climateactionnetwork.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Dennis Patrick O’Hara
University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
416-926-1300, ext. 3408
dennis.ohara@utoronto.ca