With a network of 20,000 congregations throughout the country, Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) guides an estimated six and a half million people of faith to respond to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. By working in the faith community, IPL is reaching individuals who do not consider themselves to be environmentalists and who would not be reached by traditional environmental organizations.
Since 2010, IPL has operated the Cool Congregations Challenge, which is an annual contest to recognize congregations that are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and serving as role models for their communities. In 2014, IPL expanded the Cool Congregations Program to include a certification element. The first 20 Certified Cool Congregations are averaging 42% greenhouse gas reductions – preventing 1,100 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year. This is the equivalent of not burning 385 tons of coal every year.
Given the recent announcement of the Trump administration to exit the Paris Agreement, IPL is mobilizing its network to join other coalitions that are pledging to reduce GHG emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
LDF support will go towards mobilizing and tracking up to 4,500 congregations and households to take the Paris Pledge by summer 2018, which calls for congregations to cut emissions in half by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. In order to help congregations track their reductions, IPL will also develop a carbon calculator that will act as a standardized platform for measuring and reporting progress.