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Our History

Climate change is one of the principal threats facing humanity today, leading every major religion to establish a mandate to care for Creation and the web of life on Earth — life that people of faith and conscience are called to protect. As a national organization with chapters in almost every state, Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) was founded on the understanding that, as people of faith, we are blessed with this interconnected web of life and have a moral responsibility to be good stewards and preserve it for future generations.

IPL began in 1998 as Episcopal Power & Light with the support of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Initially, the founding chapter worked to convene a coalition of Episcopal churches aggregated to purchase renewable energy in California. In 2000, this Episcopal effort expanded its focus, engaged other faith partners, and California Interfaith Power & Light was born. California IPL next developed a successful organizational model that sparked the participation of hundreds of congregations across the state while simultaneously educating thousands of people of faith about the moral and ethical mandate to address climate change. All of this culminated in broad support for the passage of California&s landmark climate and clean energy laws. Building on California’s success, this model of Interfaith Power & Light has now been adopted by 40 state affiliates, with Montana proudly joining as the 41st IPL chapter in 2020.

In keeping with its focus on clean energy, IPL intends to elevate the voice of the faith community in the policy-making arena and works to support and advance clean energy and reduce pollution through policy changes at the local, state, and national levels.

Of equal importance is an unwavering commitment by members of IPL to act as advocates for the people and communities most heavily impacted by climate change. From air pollution to heat waves and droughts to rising seas, it is the most vulnerable among us — especially those living in poverty — who are most severely impacted by the impacts of climate change. Our goal is to ensure that climate policies provide mitigation and adaptation support for communities domestically and internationally whose health and survival is at stake. We are also committed to an inclusive shift to renewable energy sources that enables all people to participate in — and benefit from — the growing clean energy economy.