Climate Science Facts and Resources
Earth Day 2021
On April 22, the world will celebrate its 51st Earth Day, an annual event focused on environmental protection and the beauty of our planet. According to EarthDay.org, about 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day. This year, more than 1 billion are expected to join the celebration.
This Earth Day comes at a time when conversations about environmental health and climate change are intensifying around the world. Wespath’s Sustainable Investment Services team seeks to empower these conversations by providing you, our participants, with a few interesting climate facts and helpful educational resources.
Three Quick Facts about Climate Science
- The “greenhouse effect” describes warming that results when Earth’s atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Scientists believe an expanding greenhouse effect created by higher levels of gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane is causing global temperatures to rise.
- The average global temperature has increased nearly 1.5˚F in the last century. About 97% of climate scientists agree that human activity is contributing to this rise.
- The Paris Climate Agreement was originally signed on Earth Day 2016. This landmark global accord established goals for countries to address climate change. It sets targets related to limiting a further rise in global temperatures and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. announced in January that it would rejoin the agreement.
Three Great Resources to Check Out
- Wespath Climate Change webpage (wespath.org/r/climate): This webpage describes Wespath’s work to incorporate climate considerations in our investments. You can find information about our team’s approach to low-carbon investing, shareholder engagement and certain investment exclusions.
- Ways United Methodists can combat climate change (www.umc.org/en/content/ways-united-methodistscan-combat-climate-change): Published by UMC.org, this article outlines useful steps individuals can take to make an impact on climate in their everyday lives. It also includes a link to the Faith and Facts Card on Climate Justice created by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.
- Katharine Hayhoe on faith and climate (www.katharinehayhoe.com/wp2016/category/faith/): Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist, professor and writer who frequently discusses the intersection of her Christian faith and her career. Katharine received the “United Nations Champion of the Earth” award in 2019.