Faith-based Climate Action

Guided by our 7th and 2nd Principles and our minister Jill’s  often-stated observation that climate change is the context for all we do as a religious community, the Faith-based Climate Action Team works to support  UUFC members and friends in ambitious, effective, collaborative action to (a) mitigate climate change, (b) build resilience and adaptations in the face of climate change, and (c) secure justice for those most impacted by, but least responsible for and with the fewest resources to thrive under climate change.

UU marchers at the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City. Credit Peter Bowden.

We work to (a) reduce and to take responsibility for carbon emissions, both as a facility and as members/friends, (b) support legislation and policy endorsed by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and frontline communities that furthers mitigation, adaptation/resilience, and climate justice, and (c) seek opportunities to follow the leadership of BIPOC and frontline communities in their work on climate change, adaptation/resilience, and justice.

This year (2022-23)

Active projects include:

  1. Climate Lens:  This effort has two goals.  First, to empower UUFC teams with tools to help keep climate impacts in mind during decision making.  Second, to help UUFC teams inspire each other to make commitments around climate impacts and climate justice. Jed Irvine, <>.
  2. Legislative Action:  Often in collaboration with other UUFC Justice teams, we work to influence climate-related policy and legislation at the state and national level.  Deborah Clark, <>.
  3. Net Zero:  The top priority of this project is to reduce UUFC’s carbon emissions, both as an institution and in the personal lives of members and friends.  We then help facilitate taking responsibility for residual emissions by UUFC and its members and friends.  Michael Hughes, <>.
  4. Trees: UUFC members and friends plant and care for trees on our campus and, in collaboration with the Corvallis Urban Forestry program, across our broader community.  John Bailey, <>.  Also, members and friends purchase Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine holiday trees, which we will plant after the holidays. Scott Bruslind <>
  5. Interfaith CollaborationWe work with the Corvallis Interfaith Climate Justice Committee to encourage faith-based climate action in the Corvallis and surrounding communities. Nick Houtman <>
  6. Build Back Better Beyond Net Zero: However many trees wind up coming down as a result of the building expansion, the web of life, ongoing carbon uptake, and carbon release will each be negatively impacted. But with commitment, work, and time (with time measured in years, even decades) we can more than make up for those negative impacts.   
    • The web of life: With new planting, our campus can become a more vibrant host to that web without the felled trees than it is now with them.
    • Carbon uptake: Through off-campus tree planting, more carbon can be sequestered each year than is currently accomplished by the felled trees.
    • Carbon release:   By investment in the UUFC  <Carbon Reduction and Responsibility Fund>, more carbon can be prevented from being added to the atmosphere than will be added by the felled trees.

Michael Hughes, <>

Latest Updates on CAT’s 2022-23 Work

Last Year  (2021-22)

Using five strategies (advocacy, reduction of carbon emissions directly, education, developing policy decisions, and maintaining infrastructure) members and friends worked together to accomplish much  in 2021-22:

Strategy #1: Advocate 

Strategy #2: Reduce Carbon Emissions Directly 

  • The Toward Net Zero Project, in collaboration with the UUFC Buildings Team, was awarded a $10,000 City loan to improve the energy efficiency of our existing building.
  • The TreesProject, in collaboration with the City of Corvallis Urban Forestry program, planted 12 oak trees  in a low-and-moderate income Corvallis neighborhood.
  • The Campus Habitat Project, in collaboration with UUFC Grounds and UUFC Youth Religious Exploration, installed six bird nesting-boxes to encourage and support native birds.

Strategy #3: Educate and share hope

  • The Toward Net Zero Project hosted  a Wednesdays-in-April (Earth month) series of Zoom presentations on ways we can take action to reduce emissions.  
  • The Toward Net Zero Project is providing opportunities, encouragement, and support for members/friends to reduce and take responsibility for personal emissions.
  • Climate Solution Happenings is posted monthly in UUFC newsletter, along with other frequent communications on Mighty Network and the 7th Principle Google group. 
  • The Climate Action Team hosted a three-session Religious Exploration courseClimate action as spiritual practice”.
  • The Climate Action Team was key in the work to have Justice councils and teams consider racial and climate justice issues in their 2022-23 and future budgets.
  • In collaboration with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team, the Climate Action Team is beginning to operationalize anti-racism and climate lenses to inform the work of councils and teams.

Strategy #4: Develop Policy Decisions

The UUFC Board:

       a) declared a climate emergency,

       b) established the Carbon Reduction and Responsibility Fund, and 

       c) joined the Renew Oregon and Divest Oregon collaboratives.  

Strategy #5: Maintain infrastructure to support other strategies

  • A space for the Climate Action Team was developed and maintained on Mighty Network.