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GreenFaith North Carolina Holds Climate Funeral Procession in Uptown

Women with GreenFaith North Carolina dressed in funeral garb push emptry strollers and surround a stroller for a child in front of a bank in Uptown Charlotte
Environmental activists with GreenFaith North Carolina stand outside of a Chase Bank branch in Uptown on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of GreenFaith)

The North Carolina chapter of GreenFaith, a global, faith-rooted nonprofit organization combating the climate crisis, held a protest funeral procession on Tryon Street on Nov. 1 to remember those lost to climate change and climate disasters both past and future. 

Called a “Requiem for the Children and the Planet,” local organizers planned the protest for All Souls Day to recognize not only the results of climate change that have already been realized but the looming effects on children’s futures and the planet.

“Young people today are facing a grim future — the loss of hope,” said Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise of GreenFaith. “The widespread damage to ecosystems that provide us with food, air and water, as well as beauty and joy, make it hard to plan for children and the future. It is long past time for our business leaders to take bold steps and stop funding climate devastation.”

Participating women wore black mourning veils as they pushed empty strollers through the center of the city center to symbolize the children who have been and will be lost to climate disaster. A casket covered in pictures of animals and the words “RIP Hopes and Dreams” represented the creatures affected by climate disasters. 

Women with GreenFaith North Carolina dressed in funeral garb push emptry strollers and surround a stroller for a child in front of a bank in Uptown Charlotte. In the background, activists hold a banner that reads, "Bank of America: Stopp Digging Our Grave"
Environmental activists with GreenFaith North Carolina stand outside of Bank of America HQ in Uptown on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of GreenFaith)

“I think it’s important to claim public space for this because too often we do this behind closed doors or within our congregations,” Paradise said at the requiem.

The procession stopped at the Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo buildings in Center City, with protesters performing a small ritual at each bank, naming all that’s been lost due to the climate crisis — a crisis those banks have helped fund through more than $1 trillion in investments since the Paris Climate Agreement, according to a release from GreenFaith.

The organization demanded the banks put an immediate stop to fossil fuel projects and deforestation, ensure a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy practices and implement a fair phase-out of fossil fuels while committing to a just transition for impacted workers and climate-vulnerable communities.

“These demands are the bare minimum requirements,” one speaker said. “They are not requests. They are necessities.”  

Women with GreenFaith North Carolina dressed in funeral garb push emptry strollers and surround a stroller for a child in front of a bank in Uptown Charlotte
Environmental activists with GreenFaith North Carolina stand outside of a Wells Fargo branch in Uptown on Wednesday. (Photo by Annie Keough)

“Any bank that is actively investing in fossil fuels and pipelines is actively participating in the displacement of people and the creation of a costly and immoral climate refugee crisis,” added Rev. Ben Boswell, senior minister of Myers Park Baptist Church, standing at the foot of Bank of America’s headquarters. 

“We call on you [Lord] to help us to ensure that all banks stop investing in fossil fuels and fueling displacement,” Boswell continued, “and help us to inspire all people of faith and good conscience to stop supporting banks that are hurting the environment and humanity.”

September 2023 continued a four-month-long streak of record-warm global temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported nearly 21 million people are displaced annually due to climate-related disasters; 2023 saw a record high of 110 million people.


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One Comment

  1. OH, look. Affluent White Female Urban Liberals (AWFUL), literally the most privileged creatures in the history of the universe, with no real work to do, have opinions. Pay attention, everyone! Behold them!

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