Climate Stewardship Summit IV
Sunday, November 13, 2016
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM (reception to follow)
Central Connecticut State University Student Center
1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT
Suggested donation: $30 (sliding scale of $10 – $100 available)
Suggested Student donation: $10
Goals: This year’s Climate Stewardship Summit will concentrate on the future – the almost certain, climate-modified future we are bequeathing to our children and grandchildren. Therefore, one of its primary goals will be on the role of youth. Equally important, will be the emphasis on the “greening” of faith-based institutions.
Background: The United Nations’ Youth and Climate Change initiative states: “. . . youth constitute the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, which has the power to transform our societies towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future.”
All too often conferences and meetings held on climate change do not engage the participation of youth in their programs in any meaningful sense. Today’s young people are more environmentally aware than any in the past. They understand the importance of conserving non-renewable resources and not developing wasteful habits. As a group, they have the potential to forge a less polluted environment and more sustainable future in our increasingly threatened planet. For these reasons, the fresh insights and well-honed creativity of youth will greatly assist society at large to move in this new direction.
Yet, it is the current generation of young people who will face the serious, long-term consequences of climate change on our global environment. These include not only increasing incidences of extreme weather events, sea-level rises, heat waves, droughts and water scarcities, climate change will have enormous developmental and health impacts on the unborn, infants and young children in all regions of the world. Thus, working together, we must squarely address all these issues in a comprehensive, holistic and timely manner.
In other words, we must adapt ourselves to this changing world, which will soon be upon us, beginning in the next few decades. It will call upon the mobilization of individuals associated with programs and material resources of our community – regional and local planners, first responders, educators, counselors, health practitioners, and all those engaged in providing assistance during natural disasters, human-caused accidents and emergency episodes. Being prepared to meet these predictable, though uncertain, events should become the hallmark of all faith-based communities around the globe.
Objectives of the Climate Stewardship Summit, IV:
- Examining the institutional role, education and participation of youth in the current debate on climate change:
- Developing educational curriculum on climate change for Sunday schools and other religious youth programs;
- Drafting a comprehensive, faith-based “Youth and Climate Change” statement, to be discussed and adopted during the Summit;
- Developing preliminary templates for religious communities to take a youth-based, “green leadership” roles in their community.
- Providing information to build a more environmentally sound, energy-efficient and sustainable faith community:
- Moving towards a greater number of “green houses” of worships;
- Incorporating climate-related issues during worship services, second-hour and other educational sessions in churches, synagogues, mosques, etc;
- Instituting a clergy- and lay-based educational program in the development of adaptation strategies with local and regional governments and other emergency agencies.