West Kootenay faith groups commit to 100 per cent renewable energy

“The obvious starting point is to make our buildings as energy-efficient as possible.”

Four faith groups in Nelson have pledged to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy in their own operations no later than 2050.

Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre, Nelson United Church, St. Saviour’s Pro Cathedral, and Yasodhara Ashram have made this commitment.

“The obvious starting point is to make our buildings as energy-efficient as possible,” said Julia Roberts, a volunteer with St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral.

“An energy assessor provided by FortisBC and funded by Nelson Hydro has recently visited our buildings. We are looking forward to his reports and working together to implement recommendations.”

The Nelson United church is on board too.

“With our old building, and with a complex heating system, it will be hard to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” said Reverend David Boyd.

“We are committed to this, though, because we are part of this community of Nelson and are compelled by our spiritual grounding to do our part in healing the climate.

“By taking this step to renewable energy together, we are showing leadership in the West Kootenay, as well as provincially, nationally and internationally.”

Miles Parker of the Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre says deep spiritual commitments have in the past led to the civil rights and anti-war movements.

“Movements for real social change require a shared view of trust and care for each other and a common appreciation for the sacred in all aspects of life,” he said.

The announcement was made during an interfaith climate vigil attended by over 100 people at Lakeside Park in Nelson organized by the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative, which consists of eight local faith groups.

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