Advocacy Working Group
The Faith Communities Go Green Advocacy Team equips members to bring the compassion and ethics of their faith to the work of shaping environmental policy. Coming from many faiths, we share a passionate commitment to equity, advocating for policies and practices that reduce the disproportionate impact of pollution and climate change on low-income and vulnerable people.
We work to be proactive in legislative debates, particularly at the state level (Ohio), and mobilize people to send comments to regulatory agencies like the EPA when rules are being drafted. Meeting monthly by Zoom and tracking relevant bills, we develop action alerts for members to use in newsletters, bulletins, and letter-writing campaigns. We also help organize meetings with elected officials.
We also share stories of success, to keep hope and resolve strong. Greater Cincinnati is providing more and more good news of the impact of vision, collaboration, and the commitment to measure impact. Download “State and local resources on environmental policy” to discover outstanding non-profits and regional collaborations who provide a wealth of information through reports, blogs, seminars, and newsletters.
In 2022, we’re advocating for sustainable energy policy in Ohio – including the repeal of the coal plant subsidies in HB 6 and making community solar projects legal through HB 450. We are also excited to learn about how Cincinnati residents can engage in developing the newest Cincinnati Green Plan and will work joyfully to recruit people of faith to enhance community input.
Faith communities have unique resources to motivate people to engage in “climate action,” but this requires a new way of framing the issue, according to the research of Prof. Ed Maibach of the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication. In a webinar for the Catholic Climate Covenant, “Why the Faith Community Holds the Climate Change Key,” he advised mobilizing faith communities’ core strengths of trust and moral leadership. “Simple, clear, messages, repeated often by a variety of trusted voices, suggest and motivate solutions,” he wrote.
He encourages faith leaders to change the framing of the issue from doom to opportunity, from climate change to climate action: “Framing climate action as transforming society for the better is effective at motivating people – even people who aren’t convinced that climate change is real.”
Faith leaders can inspire people to engage in climate action to build “better health and more sustainable wealth for all,” Maibach adds.
“Successful campaigns also frame issues in a manner to suggest and motivate solutions,” he writes. The “five most important facts/beliefs about climate change are:
- It’s real
- It’s us (human-caused)
- Experts agree (that human-caused climate change is happening)
- It’s bad (for people)
- There’s hope, there are solutions
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Go Green (an all-volunteer group) do not imply lobbying activity by Green Umbrella or EquaSion. Each of those organizations has its own processes to determine their own lobbying activities.