Big Events Are Planned for This Fall

Pope Frances

In November, global leaders will convene in Paris at the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change. And next week, on September 23rd and 24th, Pope Francis will be in the United States to speak to President Obama and address Congress. He is the first pope in history to do so and this visit comes on the heels of his encyclical urging action on climate change.

On September 25th, Pope Francis will open the UN General Assembly, followed by a Heads of State meeting which will focus on climate in New York.

In preparation for the Pope’?s visit please join NYIPL members at one or more of the following events:


Rise Up for Climate Justice
Thursday, September 24th, 4:00 p.m. pre-rally, 5:00 p.m. rally
Niagara Square, Buffalo
(at the intersection of Delaware, Niagara, Genesee and Court Streets)


Vigil for Earth
Thursday Sept. 24, 7 pm
Dewitt Park, Ithaca
(Intersection of Buffalo and N. Cayuga Streets)

Stand with Pope Francis on the eve of his address to the United Nations
Peaceful vigil with songs, prayers, and readings.
Bring a flashlight or other light source.
People of all faiths {or no faith} are welcome.
Sponsored by the Interfaith Climate Action Network (ICAN)
For more information contact John Finn, 607-592-8541


Prayer Vigil ? ?Care for our Common Home?
Wednesday, September 23rd, 4:00 p.m.
St. Marianne Cope Parish at Good Shepherd Chapel, 3318 E. Henrietta Road, Rochester

Rochester Moral March for Climate Justice
Thursday, September 24th, 4:30 p.m.
Liberty Pole, at East Main and East Avenue, Rochester

Your Faith and Climate Change:
A talk with Catholic Climate Ambassador Dr. Gerry Gacioch
Thursday, September 24th, 7:00 p.m.
Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, 150 French Road, Rochester


Light the Way Festival of Prayer and Music
Thursday, September 24th, 4:30 ? 5:30 p.m.
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. and 1st Ave.), New York City

Under One Sky Rally
Thursday, September 24th, 6:00 ? 7:45
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. and 1st Ave.), New York City

Overnight Vigil
Thursday, September 24th, 8:00 ? morning
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. and 1st Ave.), New York City


Procession to Multi-Faith Vigil
Wednesday, September 23rd, 5:30 p.m.
Departing from All Souls Unitarian Church, 1500 Harvard, Washington, DC

Multi-Faith Prayer Vigil
Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. until Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 a.m.
John Marshall Place Park (Pennsylvania Ave. & 4th Street NW), Washington, DC

Thursday, September 24th, 7:30 a.m.
The National Mall, between 3rd and 7th Streets, NW, Washington, DC
Bus Info

What We Do

green up pic

Green Up helps congregation and their members make the individual changes needed to tackle climate change.  Whether this is installing energy efficient lighting in their houses of worship or putting solar up on their roofs, every action that reduces climate pollution is an important step in the right direction!

There are simple, low-barrier, low-cost actions any building or house can take, from different light bulbs, new fixtures and new light switches to sealing the weak points and painting a flat roof with reflective aluminum paint. Every effort to seal a building reduces the use of watts.

Once the building is working at peak efficiency, the major sources of power usage can be examined. The kitchen appliances, heating and cooling, and general lighting are usually the biggest energy draws. There are a lot of solutions available that will pay for themselves quickly and then continue to help the budget with reduced energy bills.

Solar panels and installation prices have fallen throughout 2015 and 2016. Many business providers offer leases of solar panels that include installation. Look up the Sungevity page on this website for an example.


Solar Energy Growing in New York State!

Governor Cuomo announced that the growth of solar in New York State increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014! This is more than double the rate of U.S. solar growth overall.  A total of 314.48 megawatts of solar electric was installed across the state, equivalent to powering more than 51,000 homes.

The substantial growth is attributed to a combination of factors, including the NY-Sun initiative, a decline in solar electric component prices, and an increase  in the number of installer businesses marketing solar electric directly to consumers.

Also contributing to the increase are the state’s Solarize programs, which allow consumers to take advantage good prices by purchasing in bulk.  Check out New York’s Solarize projects.

Is your congregation ready to explore energy efficiency?

Here are five things you can do.

  1. Get the right team together. Make sure you have someone with the necessary business acumen on your sustainability team to help assess financial opportunities associated with energy efficiency.
  2. Understand your energy use. This could be as simple as a spreadsheet for tracking electricity, gas, oil and/or propane use based on utility bills and invoices.
  3. Schedule an energy audit from NYSERDA. This is available at no cost for eligible faith communities.
  4. Prioritize your energy reduction plan in this way:
    Low-cost, easy fixes: swap out conventional light bulbs for CFLs or LEDs, upgrading exit signs for LED exit signs, and filling holes that allow warm air out or cold air in
    Upgrades that will cost some money: lighting upgrades and new efficient Energy Star appliances
    Capital improvements: a new boiler, insulation, window replacements
  5. Go solar. Energy efficiency upgrades prepare your organization for solar or another renewable energy system. By optimizing your use of electricity through steps 1-4, you are able to choose a smaller, correct size system, responsibly utilizing the treasure of your congregation. If you are interested in solar power, contact only those that are certified through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Visit the NY-SUN solar website for NY State information on incentives and installers, or simply click here to find a qualified installer.
    Even if you can’t install solar or green power on-site, you can explore opportunities to purchase green power through your energy provider. Look at your organization’s electric bill to determine if you are on a residential or commercial electric rate* then, go here to learn more about your options.

Need help? Call us at (315) 256-0078! And don’t forget to check out the other resources here at!

*Some utilities allow religious organizations to be on a residential rate instead of a small commercial rate. Your bill will describe which rate your building(s) have.

Free Encyclical Climate Action Kit

Interfaith Power & Light and the Catholic Climate Covenant have teamed up teamed up to bring you our Pope Francis’ encyclical Climate Action Kit – a guide for communities of all faiths. As noted in the kit, “Putting the ecological encyclical into action can be simple. You’ll receive a step-by-step guide to understand and apply the encyclical, shrink your carbon footprint, and advocate for policy change.”

In the kit you’ll be guided through these 5 steps to take climate action:

1. Understand the encyclical
Find and select quotes for your use from the Pope’s 184-page encyclical on ecology. Additionally, find links to the encyclical news coverage and analysis.

2. Talk about it
Use sample Creation and Climate sermons, social media graphics and sample tweets. Find guidelines for hosting a discussion and submitting letters to the editor.

3. Stand with Pope Francis
Stand with Pope Francis by adding your name to pledges provided by
Catholic Climate Covenant and Interfaith Power & Light.

4. Start a team, go green
Find inspiration and tips for forming a green team, cutting your carbon footprint, and saving money that can be used to advance your mission.

5. Take action
Participate in advocacy to ask Congress to support the Green Climate Fund to help the nations suffering most from the effects of climate change.

Thank you for helping to amplify Pope Francis’ call to action! Get your free Climate Action Kit today.

Muslim Leaders Issue Statement on Climate Change

Earth Wrapped in a Leaf

This week, Muslim leaders and experts from 20 countries issued a strong statement urging Islam’s followers to address the threat of climate change.

“We are in danger of ending life as we know it on our planet,” the statement says. “This current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the earth’s fine equilibrium (m?z?n) may soon be lost.”

The eight-page declaration was signed by 60 leaders, including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon. The statement urges world leaders to phase out fossil fuels and transition to 100% renewable energy “as early as possible,” in order to keep the global temperature from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius.

“We particularly call on the well-off nations and oil-producing states to lead the way in phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible and no later than the middle of the century,” it says.

The statement follows the Pope’s encyclical, and a Rabbinic letter signed by 403 Rabbis on climate change. Our friends at the Shalom Center have published the entire texts of all three documents. Click here.

At New York Interfaith Power & Light, we celebrate these statements by faith leaders and look forward to increased awareness of climate change by the world’s peoples.

Welcome to our New Members!

holmes camp

We’re excited to welcome Holmes Presbyterian Camp as a member. This brings us to 109 member congregations!

Holmes Presbyterian Camp is located 55 miles north of New York City, providing a “Christ-centered witness to the issues of conservation, ecology, peace, and justice.”

Holmes has an organic Community Supported Agricultural farm that they started three years ago. This summer they have 40 families that come for their share of the produce, and they deliver another 20 shares to a church.

The camp has an environmental educator, and they work to instill in campers a commitment to preserving the earth. Soon, they will be using geothermal energy for a new conference center to be built on the grounds.

Welcome, Holmes Camp! We’re glad to have you!

More good news for NY! NYSERDA Releases Clean Energy Fund.


NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) has released its proposed Clean Energy Fund, a $5B, 10-year plan to “animate and sustain” the energy marketplace to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas reductions and energy use.  The plan provides a detailed description of NYSERDA’s intended approaches along four primary initiatives: Market Development, Innovation & Research, NY Green Bank, and NY Sun.

Under the NY Public Service Commission’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” master plan, NYSERDA will become the state’s lead agency in engaging the private marketplace for energy innovation and use, while the New York Power Authority will act as a lead agency in innovative energy use in the public building sector.

Read more here.

Looking to Go Solar for your home?

solar house

Create change in your own community, starting with your rooftop! Here are three easy ways for you to get more information.

  1. Check out our NYIPL partnership Sungevity. Get a free iquote from Sungevity. If you sign up for solar through our partnership, you’ll receive a $750 off your costs and NYIPL will receive a $750 contribution.
  2. To explore other solar opportunities, go to Click on “Get Solar”, then from the links on the left, choose “Find a commercial and industrial installer.” You can then click on your county for a list of certified firms.
  3. There are too many Solarize programs in New York to list! Find your community’s Solarize program here.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Act in NY State


State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz recently announced the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (S.5873/A.8011), which would require the New York State Comptroller to divest the Common Retirement Fund (CRF) from fossil fuel holdings by 2020. The bill was endorsed by New York Interfaith Power and Light as well as many other environmental, faith, and community organizations.  Bill McKibben, well-known writer, activist and founder of, and Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, & Mary) were among the many advocates joining them in the announcement.

“I’m proud to be the sponsor of a bill that would require the New York State pension fund to divest from fossil fuels by 2020,” said Senator Krueger.  “It is critical that we send the message that we are no longer going to invest our public funds in activities that do enormous damage to our environment, not just in New York, not just in the United States, but throughout the world. It’s 2015 – we’re already decades behind where we need to be in addressing climate change.  Divestment is not a silver bullet, but it is one important step among many, and I urge all of my colleagues to support us in passing this bill and demonstrating that New York State can be at the cutting edge of the fight to stop catastrophic climate change.”

“Bold action is needed now to mitigate climate change,” said Assembly Assistant Speaker Ortiz.  “If we miss this opportunity to enact clean energy laws today, our children may face serious consequences.  The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act sends a strong message that New York should not invest in companies whose profits depend on damaging our climate. Our investment strategies should mirror the state’s public policies. That is why I wholeheartedly sponsor this bill to take the state’s pension fund monies out of the pockets of those who profit from fossil fuels.”

Learn more here.