Grand Rapids candlelight vigils bring awareness to climate change

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – West Michigandans made a push on Saturday to make climate change a top priority. They joined an international movement that works to reduce emissions.

A few dozen people gathered outside the First Church Fellowship Hall to spread their message about reducing our carbon footprint.

“My wife and I only have one car, we try to eat very little meat, we grow food in our garden and we compost,” said Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, Vice President of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

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He joined several religious members in Grand Rapids holding candlelight reminders across town. These candles symbolize solidarity in their movement and join others in vigils around the world.

“Create a lot of hope for the people. I know climate change can feel isolating and overwhelming, and coming together in person can feel empowering and hopeful … I also hope that it will increase visibility. I believe Christians should be at the forefront of the climate crisis. “Call for measures to reduce CO2 emissions to help people adapt to the effects of climate change because Christians are called to love God,” Schapp told FOX 17.

This fall, Grand Rapids declared climate change a city crisis and set a goal of getting 100% renewable energy for all city operations by 2025, with the main goal of being carbon neutral by 2040.

This fits well with the huge push by Consumers Energy and DTE energy as they focus on solar and wind power.

“So we are definitely taking positive steps in the right direction. Of course we have to do as much as possible as quickly as possible, ”said Schapp.

The city plans to submit a Community-wide CO2 emissions report by June next year.

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