Resolution #3: Carbon Sequestration - Creates an Internal Carbon Offset Program

Secretary of the Convention

Last Update
October 25th, 2021

Status
The Convention passed this resolution on October 23rd, 2021.

Resolved, That the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of California affirms its Farm Church Ministry and exploration into sustainable agricultural practices including regenerative farming and permaculture; and

Resolved, That this convention submits the following resolution to the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:

Resolved, the House of __________ concurring, That the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church affirms General Convention resolution A014 (2018) as well as Executive Council resolutions MB 024 and MW 042, and be it further

 

Resolved, That this General Convention direct the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church’s Economic Justice Loan Committee, in consultation with the Task Force on Care of Creation & Environmental Racism, to evaluate, create, and implement a positive investment strategy that will fund methods of capturing and storing greenhouse gases through sustainable nature-based, land management solutions such as afforestation and regenerative agricultural practices, and be it further

Resolved, That this environmental stewardship response will create a pilot churchwide carbon offset policy with duly investigated, responsible, and ethical partners.

Financial Impact:  Per the Task Force on Care of Creation & Environmental Racism, TEC was to set aside funds for the Offset Project or approximately 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year at a rate of $20/ton CO2e would be equal to $70,000 per year.  

Explanation
In 2018, the 79th General Convention passed resolution 
A014 – Create a Pilot Carbon Offset Program calling for all of the Episcopal Church Center travel be assessed and addressed with a carbon offset program.  These were to include socially responsible practices including social, political, economic, and ecological implications of generating carbon credits.  Our proposal, DioCal resolution #3 – Carbon Sequestration: Creates an Internal Offset Program, is targeted to meet this requirement.

 

Carbon Sequestration is a natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.  In January 2021, the Executive Council created our initial policy in resolution MB 024 - Carbon Capture & Storage (see text on page 3) and spoke to this again in June 2021 through MW 042 Church-wide ambition to safeguard creation and steward finances by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (see text on page 4).

We are directing Executive Council’s Economic Justice Loan Committee (EJLC) to evaluate, create, and implement a positive investment strategy emphasizing sustainable natured-based solutions such as afforestation and regenerative agricultural practices like Regenerative Farming Practices. 

Currently, $7 million of The Episcopal Church’s assets are for economic justice initiatives around the globe and in the United States. The EJLC administers this $7 million in TEC endowment funds as a loan portfolio. The funds in the portfolio are used on a revolving basis to provide loans, indirectly, to organizations, institutions and individuals that may not qualify in the regular credit markets but have worthy community economic justice development programs and projects. The principal, upon repayment to TEC, is re-loaned by TEC to others. All the loans pay interest, and that interest income is used to support TEC’s program budget.

The 77th General Convention passed resolution B019 - Support Israeli-Palestinian Peace creating a positive investment policy which was implemented by the EJLC and continues to this day, so this body is familiar with exploring and implementing a positive investment strategy.

We anticipate that the EJLC will provide loans to afforestation and regenerative agricultural entities that are creating carbon offset credits or could even explore co-investing in partnerships.   Instead of achieving a rate of return, the monies lend or invested will be our set aside figure outlined in Financial Impact.  In the end, a positive investment strategy means we are investing our carbon offset funds and  EJLC will identify regenerative farming entities and ensure their operations continues to sustained carbon offsets into the future.  Therefore, we urge your support for this resolution.

Contact
Warren Wong, St. James, SF - 
wjwstjames@gmail.com

Submitted by
Warren Wong, Delegate, St. James, San Francisco
          Economic Justice Loan Committee 2013-21 (chair 2015-18)
          Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility 2001-09
Emily Hopkins, St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek
The Rev. Jane Stratford – Farm Church Missioner & Vicar –  St. Anna’s, Antioch

Endorsed by
Peter Sergienko, Care of Creation Coordinator – Province VIII of TEC

 

Resources

 

A014 Create a Pilot Carbon Offset Program

79th General Convention passed July 13, 2018

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention recognizes the reality of human-caused climate change through continued reliance on fossil fuel-based transportation; and be it further

Resolved, That because travel done on behalf of The Jesus Movement contributes to this problem, we recognize the need to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce, and ultimately eliminate this carbon footprint; and be it further

Resolved, That, as a first step in the process, by offsetting the impact of the travel done on behalf of The Jesus Movement, the Church witnesses to its care for God’s creation; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention direct the Executive Council to draft a policy in 2018 requiring the use of socially responsible Carbon Offsets with particular attention to the social, political, economic, and ecological implications of carbon-credit generating programs by the Episcopal Church Center, and that such a program be tested and piloted as during the triennium for the work of The Episcopal Church including the travel of its staff, standing commissions and interim bodies; and be it further

Resolved, That a plan for a broader offset program for all church travel be presented for consideration at the 80th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That $25,000 be allocated for the pilot carbon offset program.

MB 024 Carbon Capture & Storage

Executive Council of The Episcopal Church passed January 25, 2021

Resolution text

Resolved, That the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church shares a profound concern for the welfare of peoples around the world and the environments in which they live that are threatened by climate change as the effects of global warming; and be it further

Resolved, That the Executive Council recognizes
• the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors,
• the significant challenge in achieving this goal,
• the global voice of the Paris Climate Agreement,
• and scientific research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and others; and be it further

Resolved, That the Executive Council supports methods of permanently capturing and storing greenhouse gases, including nature-based solutions (tree-planting, preservation of unique ecosystems such as prairies, bogs, estuaries, and mangrove stands); Carbon Capture and Storage (also called Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage); and direct air capture technologies under the following conditions:
• Carbon removal must be paired with aggressive emission reductions.
• Carbon removal should not supplant other efforts to address climate change.
• Carbon removal must be permanent and, where appropriate, include long-term monitoring to
detect leakage; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church supports appropriate research and testing to avoid unintended consequences from these technologies and other climate change mitigation efforts; and be it further

Resolved, That, in agreement with numerous Church policies, we urge that the costs of carbon capture and other climate change mitigation efforts should not fall disproportionately on poor, minority, and indigenous communities; and be it further

Resolved, That the Office of Government Relations is directed to advocate for policies that support the research, development, and implementation of carbon capture methods in conjunction with other climate change solutions.

 

MW 042 Church-wide ambition to safeguard creation and steward finances by reducing greenhouse gas emissions

 

Executive Council of The Episcopal Church passed June 28, 2021

 

Resolution text

Resolved, That the Executive Council, meeting virtually from June 25 through June 28, 2021, acts in accordance with GC resolutions passed since 2009 including 2018-A018 – which calls on The Episcopal Church to “set an example in the spirit of the Paris Climate Accord to live lightly and gently on God’s good earth” – by supporting and urging all Episcopal congregations/ministries, dioceses, and entities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of 50% reduction by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Resolved, that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church encourage and equip individual members and their households to strive for the same goals.

Resolved, That the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church directs the Department of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care, the Office of Government Relations, and other departments and partners as appropriate to continue implementing the Covenant for Care of Creation and supplement it with a plan and resources to support the achievement of these emissions reduction targets – including dramatically increased access to and use of energy audits, the Carbon Tracker, clean and renewable energy sources, offsets and other strategies – and present that plan for consideration by Executive Council at its October 2021 meeting.