Dear District Governors,
 
On April 10 the 2016 Council on Legislation (CoL) will convene to act on
PE 16-98, which proposes amending RI Bylaws to add that RI "supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the humanitarian crisis of global warming."
Past RI Director Mary Beth Growney Selene, has asked me to send you this letter (
attached as a pdf and copied below) in which she asks:
 

"…your district's clubs to support this proposed enactment and ask your district's delegate to the 2016 CoL to vote
yes, and speak in support of its passage.”

 

Please direct any questions, comments or concerns to kdkhands@me.com or paulr@esrag.org, of the RC of Madison, WI, in which this proposal originated.
 
Thanks in advance for forwarding Rotarian Growney Selene's letter to your District's CoL delegate and requesting their support.
 
Yours in service,
 
Karen D. Kendrick-Hands
Going Green Fellowship, Co-Chair
Member, Rotary Club of Madison, District 6250
kdkhands@me.com
313.600.1670
www.esrag.org
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March 22, 2016

Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Last year, I was proud to help District 6250 forward Proposed Enactment 16-98 to "support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the humanitarian crisis of global warming" to the 2016 Council on Legislation. I am asking your district's clubs to support this proposed enactment and ask your district's delegate to the 2016 CoL to vote yes, and speak in support of its passage. I am joined in that request by the undersigned fellow PDG's and other concerned Rotarians.

In my opinion,all of the rationales in the attached Purpose and Effect statement are still true and even more compelling. 2015 was Earth's warmest year by the widest margin on record; [http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/global/201512]. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, held in Paris, December 2015, 193 countries came together to affirm the dangers of climate change and commit to greenhouse gas reduction strategies to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees centigrade. The Paris Agreement even anticipates a role for Rotary International as a "non-party stakeholder of civil society . . . to support actions to reduce emissions and/or build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change . . . " Sections 134 & 135.

Climate change's profound impacts will adversely affect Rotary projects in all of the Areas of Focus, impeding and frustrating current efforts, including completing the eradication of polio, and undoing much of our past service legacy. Additionally, the very existence of dozens of Rotary Clubs in the Small Island States is threatened by sea level rise.

Too often, we as Rotarians don't appreciate the esteem in which Rotary is held around the world, the pivotal role we can play in responding to global crises, and what a difference it will make to have Rotary proactively leading the effort to support action on climate change. Rotary is the ideal forum to lead the depoliticization of responses to the looming humanitarian crises that climate change will bring. Implementing solutions is consistent with advancing our efforts in all the Areas of Focus.

PE 16-98 is not a change in policy, but an expansion of opportunity for Rotary to lead. No Club or District will be compelled to act, but PE16-98 does clarify that Clubs and Districts will be allowed to act under the Rotary Banner to work to mitigate and adapt to climate change if they choose.

Rotary's leadership on climate change embodies Rotary's finest value of Service above Self and will increase our relevance and value to the next generation of Rotarians, the young professionals who are vital to our organization's future.

As Paul Harris has challenged us: "Whatever Rotary means to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves." Supporting Climate Change action is wholly consistent with the values at the bedrock of Rotary International. For additional details, please contact Paul Riehemann, paulr@esrag.org and Karen Kendrick-Hands,kdkhands@me.com, members of the RC Madison, WI, USA and co-founders of the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group.

Thank you in advance for your support of PE 16-98.

Best Regards,
Mary Beth Growney Selene, PDG, Past Rotary International Director, 2013-15

Additional Signatories:
Mary Van Hout, DG 6250, Wisconsin & Minnesota, USA 2015/16
Dean Dickinson, PDG 6250, USA CoL Delegate 2013-16
Dick Stevens, PDG 5340, California 2012/13
Abdulla Salih, President, RC Male, Maldives 2015/16
David Brawn, PDG 9675, Australia 2010/11
Peter L Moralée, PDG District 1220, Great Britain 2013/14. Vice Chair of  The
   Sustainability Trust
Rodney Huggins, PDG 1090 Great Britain, 1987/88, Member-at-Large, CoLs
   2005-08, 2009-13
Terry Knowles, PDG 1040 (then 104), Great Britain 1981/82
Gabrielle Back, Ass't DG1060, Great Britain, 2015-16
David Warren, PDG 6250, USA, 2014/15
Robert R. Stroud, PDG 6250, USA 2012/13
Chuck Hanson, PDG 6250, USA. 2011/2012
 
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