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Providence Climate Agreement

Sister Mary Catherine Guiler (from left) along with Sister Denise Wilkinson, Sister Maria Saracco and Sister Margaret Norris (in back) wait to sign as Sister Florence Norton signs the Providence Climate Agreement.

The Providence Climate Agreement was developed by the Climate Change Task Force in order to provide — for the Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates, family and friends, and all others concerned — an action of resistance to climate change that is significant, doable, and at least roughly measurable.

Read the Climate Change Manifesto, which sets out some of the reasons for action. Below, you can find the Providence Climate Agreement (our collective goal), a pledge form enabling individuals or households to commit to specific actions and estimate the results, and resources, to help you with your Providence Climate Agreement pledges.

As in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016, the goal and the actions are stated as pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). This “greenhouse gas,” emitted into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels, is a primary cause of global warming.

Our progress

Our original goal was to reduce our Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2 million pounds in one year. We came close, but by September 2019, we exceeded our goal!

We aren’t stopping here! Read more from Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp about our continued mission. Our new goal is to reduce our CO2 emissions by 4 million pounds by July 1, 2021. Stay tuned for further details!

Climate Change Manifesto

This sets out some of the reasons for action. Download a PDF version of the original Climate Change Manifesto and Providence Climate Agreement.

Whereas this precious and beautiful planet is our mother and our only home. Yet, for more than two centuries, many humans in Western societies have

  • Treated Earth with superiority and disdain
  • Made choices based on greed and privilege
  • Failed to speak and act for the common good
  • Related to Earth with attitudes of irreverence, exploitation, and control

and whereas the results of these attitudes and actions, such as the following, intersect and demand continuous justice:

  • Severe weather events, crop failure, pests, and sea level rise, affecting all who depend for their livelihood on subsistence farming
  • Low rainfall, lengthening the time spent (mostly by women and girls) in fetching water and caring for crops, thus precluding time for school and necessary self-care
  • Extreme and prolonged heat levels, which foster increased violence and assault, especially within families and in crowded cities
  • Desertification, famine, and drought, forcing people to endure certain misery and probably death in flight from their homelands

and whereas all of these destructive realities and countless others disproportionately affect women, children, and people of color,

therefore, we the members of the Climate Change Task Force, enter and invite all others to enter into the Providence Climate Agreement.

Providence Climate Agreement

Mindful of the effects of climate injustice on the cosmos, Earth, and all creatures of Earth, particularly the most vulnerable, we commit to work against climate injustice. We pledge that by July 1, 2021 we will have collectively reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 4 million pounds (in personal activities and in local or broader communities). We pledge, in addition, to advocate for strong environmental policy.

How to get involved

Make your own pledge!

Join us in the Providence Climate Agreement by making your own pledge:

  1. Fill out the Providence Climate Agreement Pledge Form.
  2. Invite your friends, family members, workplace, school, or congregation to pledge.
  3. Take the actions you pledge to do.

Learn more or get help

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