This is a season of gratitude, celebration and hope. At Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light we are grateful for support from so many people, celebrate many positive achievements in 2019 and look forward with hope for many opportunities to care for God’s creation and address the climate crisis in the coming year.
However, we must also acknowledge the dangers and challenges of the climate crisis and ask you to help us to address it in the coming year. Our efforts are made more difficult by politicians and other public figures who deny the reality of climate change or have ties to fossil fuel interests that cause them to oppose efforts to address the climate crisis.
The Earth is experiencing a climate crisis. July 2019 was the warmest month on record. There were fires in the Arctic and unprecedented melting in Greenland. In the past year we have seen unimaginable fires on the West Coast and incredible damage from hurricanes.
In Nebraska, historic March floods caused widespread hardship and enormous cost to many Nebraskans. Parts of the state are still underwater from record-breaking rains this summer. These are vivid examples of the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events associated with climate change. We also recognize that the greatest negative impacts of the climate crisis are felt by the poorest and most vulnerable and that many faith traditions call on us to stand up for them.
Here are some of the many successful educational and policy initiatives supported by Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light that we celebrate from 2019.
- Supported the Omaha Public Power District’s goal of zero net carbon by 2050, investment in 600 MW of solar energy and retiring its North Omaha coal plant, will reduce carbon emissions by more than 3 million tons every year. These are major positive steps in addressing the climate crisis.
- Coordinated the Nebraska Youth Climate Summit, bringing together a diverse group of more than 80 young people from across the state to learn about climate change, regenerative agriculture, environmental justice and ways to make their voices heard.
- Supported Youth Climate Strikes, supporting their message of urgency in responding to the climate crisis.
- Supported legislation that established a healthy soils task force. Healthy soils are a vital tool in reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as a vital building block for regenerative agriculture.
- Led a coalition protecting the rights of farmers, ranchers, and rural residents against environmental degradation by irresponsible neighbors.
- Sponsored Elders for the Earth, a Chautauqua for older people to learn about climate change and positive responses to it.
- Supported low income energy efficiency pilot projects by the Omaha Public Power District and Lincoln Electric System.
- Supported We’re Still In, a message promoting local and state policy makers’ support for the Paris Climate Accord.
- Led a presentation about PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) an important financing tool for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- Sponsored Let’s Drive Electric, an electric vehicle education and demonstration event.
In spite of many challenges there are reasons for hope. Here are some areas where Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light plans to provide leadership in 2020:
- Reaching out to congregations across the state with teams of new leaders about the need to get involved in addressing the climate crisis
- Helping congregations and individuals reduce their carbon footprints.
- Making presentations about the realities of the climate crisis as well as opportunities to mitigate its impacts.
- Coordinating a major conference about the climate crisis in connection with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
- Working to establish a 100 % renewable energy goal for Lincoln.
- Supporting the Omaha Public Power District’s efforts to decarbonize its generation process.
- Hosting showings of From Paris to Pittsburgh, a film about local responses to climate change.
- Supporting increasing resources to help low income Nebraskans reduce their energy bills.
- Helping the City of Lincoln develop a Climate Action Plan.
Please help us increase our effectiveness by supporting Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light. Join us in our advocacy and education efforts. Your donations help us continue and expand our mission.
Your gifts are tax-deductible under IRS charitable guidelines. You can donate online at www.nebraskaipl.org or send a check to:
Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light
1327 H St., Ste. 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
In the spirit of gratitude, celebration and hope,
Director of Policy and Outreach