UUA General Assembly participants offset over 2 million pounds of greenhouse gases with leading carbon offset provider
Boston, MA, August 30, 2006 – The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Carbonfund.org Foundation announced today the results of the UUA’s first-ever carbon offset program. Nearly 1,000 participants in the annual General Assembly meeting in St. Louis in June offset their travel-related greenhouse gas emissions, offsetting over 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
“Offsetting the CO2 footprint of GA participants was a logical next step in the UUA commitment to greening our national meetings, particularly because Unitarian Universalists have been studying the issue of global warming for the past two years in preparation for passage of a powerful Statement of Conscience on The Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change at this year’s meeting,” commented Claudia Kern of Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth which proposed this project to the UUA.
“Global warming is an issue that affects every human being, rich or poor, black or white,” said Carbonfund.org Executive Director Eric M. Carlson. “It is a moral issue that gets to the heart of Creation and our purpose as humans. The actions and decisions we take over the next few years on global warming will impact our world for generations to come. The UUA and their affiliate are providing leadership, vision and action on global warming. We are thrilled to have partners so dedicated to solving our global problems.”
Carbonfund.org, a non-profit organization empowering any individual, business or congregation to reduce its climate impact easily and cost-effectively, calculated the average carbon footprint for participants traveling to St. Louis for the annual event. This included the greenhouse gas emissions from the air travel, and the energy use for hotels and the venue.
Each participant was then given the option to pay an additional $6 to offset their footprint, either during online registration or at the event, and received a Carbonfund.org sticker at the event signifying their pledge. The UUA promoted the initiative in their registration materials, website and throughout the event.
“This was a big step in the right direction as we continue to promote a sustainable environment,” said Jan Sneegas, Director of General Assembly and Conference Services for the UUA. “We are very pleased by the response in this first year and are already contemplating ways we can increase our participation rate next year.”
About the Unitarian Universalist Association
The member congregations of the UUA affirm and promote “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” and witness on behalf of liberal religious values.
About UU Ministry for Earth
UUMFE provides support and resources to individualUUs and their congregations that they may create a healthy, just, and sustainable Earth. In the past four years UUMFE has accredited 50 UU congregations across the country as Green Sanctuaries.