October 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues in Faith,

It was just seven months ago, at the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, that we attempted to gather as faith leaders and communities to address the climate crisis. If you recall, we had planned a day of seminars, storytelling and listening, in partnership with the City of Vancouver’s office for Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability. 

Though our event was thankfully moved online as the potential spread of the coronavirus was still being evaluated by public health officials, we did manage to gather via Zoom with nearly 100 fellow partners in faith to learn about the City’s development of a new Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) and share our feedback with city planners and organizers.

On November 3, 2020, City of Vancouver staff will present the Climate Emergency Action Plan to City Council. The plan is a massive document, more lengthy and complex than most presented to council for obvious reasons, and it contains 38 recommendations, all of which must be implemented in order for the city to make an appropriately sized dent in our carbon emissions.

There aren’t many effective ways individuals can try to sway Council on this, both because of the pandemic (no citizens in the room, etc.) and also because of the way Council is structured (one collective body without wards or specific constituents). A barrage of emails often just ends up ignored.

But like prophets of old we are not powerless or without a voice. My prayer and suggestion is that if a large number of faith leaders sign the attached letter to Council and if we make this letter public to the media then we might both hold sway with some of them and also provide a press opportunity to raise consciousness about the climate crisis and our moral/religious obligation to be guardians of the earth.

I urge you to review at least the summary of the CEAP found here and then to consider adding your name to this Public Letter of Support for Adopting the Vancouver CEAP. 

As always, time is of the essence for our action on this upcoming proposal to City Council and for our planet. I know we are all so busy ministering to our communities, perhaps more than ever in these intense times, and still I urge you to take a few minutes to add your prophetic voice via your signature to this urgent call for action. The deadline for signatures is end of day Wednesday, October 28. Our city and our planet need to hear from the faith leaders of our community. (Please share this email with other faith leaders in Vancouver) 

Yours in faith,

Rabbi Dan Moskovitz



As faith leaders in the city of Vancouver we are writing to urge you as members of our City Council to vote to approve the Climate Emergency Action Plan that will come before Council for vote on November 3, 2020.

COVID-19 has unexpectedly taught us a great deal. Amidst the fear and our grief for loved ones lost, the worry for individuals, families, businesses and communities impacted by this pandemic, many of us have found consolation in the short-lived dramatic reduction of pollution and role of the outdoors in our collective wellbeing. Renewed delight in and contact with the natural world that surrounds us here in “Beautiful British Columbia” has the capacity to reduce our mental stress and nourish us spiritually.

We have rediscovered our sense of how interconnected the world is. We have learned yet again (because we so often forget) that the very health and future of humanity depends on our ability to act together not only with respect to pandemics but also in protecting our global ecosystem.

At the same time, less travel and consumption and, as Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds us daily, more kindness and neighbourliness have helped us appreciate what society can really mean to us all.

Our faiths teach us that our planet, with its rich resources and inspiring diversity, is lent to us on trust only and we are accountable for how we treat it. We are urgently and inescapably responsible for it, not just before God but to our own children and the very future of humanity.

This unique moment calls upon each of us to learn the lessons of these two concurrent crises. To recognize that we are all connected to one another and to the earth. That we have a shared responsibility, a moral obligation, to do all we can to care for one another and the home we share together. We have not acted strongly enough to prevent climate change altogether. The actions we must take now to prevent catastrophe worldwide and here in Vancouver may be expensive or inconvenient, but we must take them. Our budgets will not be able to cover the inevitable cost of not taking these actions, and our hearts, minds and souls will not be able to bear the weight of inaction.

We therefore encourage you, elected leaders of our beloved and beautiful city in the name of all of our faith traditions and out of our collective responsibility to be guardians of the earth to vote to approve the Climate Emergency Action Plan and to continue Vancouver’s commitment to and leadership in addressing the climate crisis and restoring balance to our global ecosystem and our communities.


Click Here to Sign the Letter
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