Rotary Council on Legislation Vote Today. Unfortunately PE 16-98 was voted down – see “Update 4/14” below

–submitted by Paul Riehemann


The RI Board released a statement opposition two days ago to our District’s Proposed Enactment 16-98.

We have modified our proposal based on their concerns – details here: ESRAG Open Letter to 2016 Council on Legislation Delegates.

We will keep you posted.

In Service,
Paul Riehemann and Karen Kendrick-Hands, Co-Chairs
Going Green Fellowship Group

Update 4/13, 6:15am from Dean Dickinson, District 6250 CoL Delegate:
I have been advised that with the amendment removing the language from the by-laws that the board will not come to the floor with an opposing statement.

Update 4/13, 2:30pm from Dean:
The Council adjourned for the day before it took up PE 16-98 and will resume at 8:00am tomorrow.  Great comments, keep them coming!!

Update 4/14, 2:45pm from Paul:
Dean just emailed.  He introduced the amended enactment.  Immediately an amendment came to bring back Article 25 to the bylaws and was voted down.  [we don’t understand why this amendment was made, this reversed the change we made Monday based on the RI Board’s Statement in Opposition.]  Immediately a motion came to postpone action on amended Enactment 16-98…this was voted favorable… our efforts came to an end.  [there was NO discussion – disappointing; we know many CoL Delegates wanted to make statements in support.]

Thank you Dean for representing this proposal.  You truly put your heart into it, and we appreciate that.

All Is Not Lost / What’s Next

ESRAG and all Rotarians can of course share information and generate dialogue on issues.  We suggest we all act “as if” PE 16-98 passed.  And, although we really wish it had passed because of the strong statement it would have made, the RI Board’s Statement in Opposition included:

“This legislation is not necessary to allow clubs to take this action. There is no current reason or restriction against clubs supporting environmental concerns. In fact, the Rotary Code of Policies Article 8.040.5. encourages clubs to consider environmental projects as part of their community service.”

Please take the time to read all of the smart and impassioned comments on this blog post.  In just the first 14 hours there were 44 supportive comments from Rotarians.

Rotary.  Proactive.

In the comments, Bruce Key from the Rotary Club of Belvoir-Wodonga in Australia made a critical point (paraphrased below) – being PROACTIVE needs to shape Rotary going forward:

There is no greater issue than climate change.  It is largely pointless for Rotary to be providing support for the victims of weather-related disasters, when such disasters worldwide have increased by 300% since 1980 (see chart), without Rotary also attacking the major cause – climate change.

Weather Related Chart

Stated another way –

Who wants to bale water out of the boat when there is a hole in the boat letting water in faster than we can bale?

Aren’t we smarter than this?

We will keep going – ESRAG’s purpose is too important.

ESRAG Purpose

Please keep adding your comments to this blog post!  Thanks.

P.S. – Dean shared later on that three Resolutions dealing with the environment came to the floor, were discussed and were voted down roughly 40-60.


We are not defined by what happens to us,
we are defined by our reaction and forward progress.

45 responses to “Rotary Council on Legislation Vote Today. Unfortunately PE 16-98 was voted down – see “Update 4/14” below

  1. Team: Excellent – keep up the outstanding and dedicated work. Please remember, our challenge in creating greater awareness of climate change is not political in nature – but instead, has moral, social and economic dimensions which are unmatched by any historical public health challenge, ever faced by humankind.

    As dedicated Rotarians, we will never give up our sustainable climate change educational efforts because we owe it to our children and grandchildren to move forward – which are the core values of being a Rotarian.

  2. All strength to you in your attempt to convince the relevance to Rotary leadership of this major humanitarian and biodiversity crisis. The scientific evidence is irrefutable, except by a tiny but vocal minority with questionable motives. Rotary’s stance needs to be above that and always be evidence-based. To shy away from the importance of the issue could leave Rotary open to accusations of instead responding to obstructive “political influence”. I consider that Rotary should acknowledge the evidence, show concern for the humanitarian issue, and demonstrate the global leadership position expected of Rotary. Peter Buchanan, New Zealand (Rotary Club of St Johns; D9920)

  3. Our planet needs our protection, please pass this proposal to help in this process.

  4. Rotary’s stature can only be enhanced by the passage of this proposal. We are THE international organization that can provide this leadership and demonstrate the importance of this issue to the future of the planet that we all share. It’s the right thing to do, and now is the right time to do it.

  5. You have my total support for this enactment as the delegate for District 1100 who is unable to attend for health reasons
    PDG Peter Hayman

  6. I hope that Rotary can see what an important issue this is for future generations of Rotarians and the projects that we they work on. Without standing up for this critical issue, we will continue to see sea levels rise which will have a direct impact on our island Rotarians around the world among others. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s our moral obligation as the human race to act now and protect our people and planet. SERVICE ABOVE SELF starts with us.

  7. The amendment looks fine. Great to hear the RI Board in response now will not come to the CoL floor with an opposing statement!

  8. Kazi Amdadul Hoque

    I do strongly urge to all of you to support this ESRAG move as part of cate to the climate vulnerable people. We RotarIan always a great hope to the people in need..let’s keep up and support.

    PP KaziAmdadul Hoque
    RC Sonargaon Dhaka
    RI District 3281

  9. Being one of the largest service clubs in the world in over 200 countries with over 33,000 clubs and 1.2 mil members all working in service to lift peoples’ lives, the challenge of Global Warming is as important to Rotary International as anything it has done in the past. The eradication of Polio, Peace initiatives, Literacy have made a difference in every community where Rotary exists, but this is one issue that is truly life threatening and effects millions of lives. For Rotary International to take a stand to move forward to work on this important issue for our planet would show the world that Rotary is a true leader in bringing about positive change for all people in the world–and (hopefully) others will follow.

  10. mark krawczynski

    It is most important that the CoL approves this amnendment. Rotary is a responsible global organisations and it must have the freedom to raise public awareness about global dangers like climate change, without the excessive pressures exerted by politics or self-interested lobbyists. Mark Krawczynski.

  11. Mahfuza Mousumi

    Great initiative…bravo! It is hard to beleive that rotary was not involved on climate change issues till now. Rotary must play significant role to raise voice for environmental sustainability. Hope ESRAG will raise voice and work for minimizing the impact of climate change on life and livelihood. We all need to join the race to build a better world. NO WAY TO TURN BACK..GO AHEAD..!!
    Rtn. Mahfuza Mousumi
    Rotary club of Sonargaon Dhaka
    District 3281

  12. Global Climate Change is not a political issues. It is a humanitarian issue that will affect every aspect of Rotaries work locally and internationally. Rotary is about people and communities. Please allow Rotarian to do what we do best…make a difference in key issues. Climate Change will be one of the most important issues for Rotarian now and into future. Please support the amended proposed enactment put forward by ESRAG.

    Thank you.

    Dave Green
    Rotary Club of Alliston
    District 7070
    Alliston, Ontario

  13. Steven Canter, PP, PHF

    I strongly support the ESRAG proposal. Rotary must lead to a more sustainable world.

  14. I urge the passage of the proposed legislation. It is time for Rotary to take its rightful position of leadership on this global concern.

  15. This enactment must be passed. The scientific evidence for climate change is overwhelming and it would be unforgivable if Rotary failed to take a position on this gravest threat to the future of our children.
    Rtn Paul Tant
    Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast
    Ballarat, Australia (D9780)

  16. Climate change is here and it is now. Whilst there may be some politicians and members of the public who do not wish to believe in climate change, almost the entire scientific community does. It is a global issue and it is already causing problems with changing weather patterns, loss of farmland, increasing economic migration and other effects detrimental to the planet. Rotary must show itself willing to address this issue, which dwarfs all others and will become increasingly important as the world warms up. To say it is politically contentious and therefore should not be faced by Rotary is a false argument. The eradication of polio is a politically contentious issue in some parts of the world, yet we continue (quite rightly) to proceed with the campaign. Please support the ESRAG proposal.
    John James
    Rotary Club of Mounts Bay
    RID 1175

  17. This is a humanitarian issue regardless of how one may feel as to the cause of the problem. It impacts all the work we have done and hope to do to make the world a better place. We need the pragmatic problem solving skills of Rotarians on this global challenge unencumbered by political ideologies. I hope PE16-98 will be accepted as amended. Thank you to all.
    Chuck Hanson
    PDG District 6250
    Rotary Club of LaCrosse , Wisconsin

  18. The ESRAG proposal is a great step forward for Rotary. Many Rotary clubs are already talking about the issue of climate change. How can we not if we care about our communities. Pass the proposal and let the dialogue continue.

  19. Richard Bentley

    Alice Springs in Central Australia is a strong Rotary town with three clubs and a population of 30,000 people. We are very concerned about environmental issues with renewable power generation, water conservation and bio-diversity concerns for many locals. Through the ESRAG proposal Rotary can develop a voice so they can be heard in the debates to come. I fully support the measure as an individual Rotarian and have lobbied for our club to become a supporter.

  20. Climate change is already with us, Rotary needs to act decisively

  21. I urge support of PE 16-98 concerning the humanitarian crisis of climate change. I believe the global crisis that occurs when greenhouse gases emissions are not brought under control will prevent Rotary from achieving it’s international service goals as stated in it’s Six Areas of Focus. What will we tell our grandchildren and the future generations of Rotarians when asked why we did not be heroic with the courage to act now and approve PE 16-98?
    Respectfully submitted, Larry Zanoni, Rotary Club of Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

  22. Ellen McHale, Schenectady, NY Rotary

    Thank you to ESRAG for your advocacy! The issue certainly fits Rotary’s “Four Way Test”. Rotary’s addressing this truly global issue is for the benefit of the whole world. The mitigation of climate change IS “Fair to all concerned,” and will help to build “Goodwill”. The time is long passed to think of climate change as a political issue. I urge the 2016 Council on Legislation to pass Enactment 98.

  23. Climate Change is the biggest problem our world has ever faced. It is a global and nonpartisan issue that affects us all on this earth. Passing ESRAG is a positive step that will help Rotarians work smarter not harder in all of our efforts to help those in need. Those who need our help most are those most severely impacted by extreme weather events impacted by Climate Change. Rotarians are well known for being there when disaster hits. Now they will be able to devise projects to help prevent potential disasters from the extreme weather events associated with Climate Change. Rotarians have the capacity to make a huge difference by leading the way in how to face this problem head on.

    Kathy Harr
    Rotary Club of Langhorne
    District 7450
    Langhorne, PA USA

  24. Climate change is a global threat. Rotary has the strength and global capacity to cope. Let us support this proposal at the service of humanity
    Lucas Riestra
    RC Antimano
    District 4370
    Caracas – Venezuela

  25. I urge you to support PE 16-98 concerning the humanitarian crisis of climate change. I believe the global crisis that occurs when greenhouse gas emissions are not brought under control will prevent Rotary from achieving it’s international goals as stated in our Six Areas of Focus. What we tell our grandchildren and future generations of Rotarians why we did not be heroic with the courage to act now and approve PE 16-98?
    Respectfully submitted, Larry Zanoni.
    Rotary Club of Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    District 6250

  26. I urge the council to pass the PE 16-98, this a great step forward for Rotary to keep our efforts and service relevant and meaningful.
    Jessie Lerner
    Rotary Club of Madison, WI USA

  27. Thank you for initiating this amended language for the Standard Club Constitution. The wording is helpful in bringing to mind that ALL Rotary projects take place in and are affected by the environment. You have crafted language that highlights the importance of avoiding political stands while acknowledging that mitigating climate change supports all of the work that Rotary International does.

  28. It is time the world’s greatest and most ethical organization take a positive stand on the world’s most demanding man made problems The time to end violence on all living things in now. Please support 16-98. Then stand tall.

  29. I strongly approve supporting PE 16-98 to keep our clubs activities and focus relevant and meaningful.
    Jessie Lerner
    Rotary Club of Madison, WI USA

  30. I support PE 16-98 to keep our clubs service relevant and meaningful. Jessie Lerner, Madison, WI

  31. We only have one earth and we need to make a Rotary priority guaranteeing that future generations will continue to grow and guard it.

    Mario Lopez Salguero
    Rotary Club Guatemala City
    District 4250

  32. Rotary needs to continue to lead, as it does in so many ways around the world. Climate Change will affect generations to come, and we must proactively work within our Rotary process and service activities to do all that we can to minimize its affects.

    Please support the ESRAG proposal and approve PE 16-98.

    Tim Stadelman, Rotary Club of Madison, Wisconsin, USA, District 6250

  33. I strongly support PE 16-98. As other supporters have said, climate change is not by nature political, but rather humanitarian. A clean energy future is in everyone’s best interest: Current and future generations, economic prosperity and the health of the natural systems underlying our quality of life. Apolitical organizations such as Rotary are the very best advocates to normalize the tenor of this critically important issue that effects all of us, from the most to least disadvantaged.

    Mike Mercer, Portland Rotary Club
    District 5100
    Portland, OR, USA

  34. Pantuda Puthipiroj

    Many problems that we encounter now, such as diseases, are the results of climate change. It is the time the Rotary should consider this issue seriously.

  35. I support this amendment. I am the Environment Officer for District 1010 which covers the 80+ clubs in the North of Scotland. I have spoken to over 30 Clubs about the environment and climate change and have meet almost 100% understanding and concern. This would not have been the case 10 years ago! I do hope that the CoL recognises the groundswell change in opinion and concern and accepts the amendment.

  36. José Jacir de Queirós

    Eu apoio esta alteração. Eu sou o Conselheiro Municipal do Meio Ambiente e atual presidente do Rotary Club de Guarapuava, Distrito 4640. Espero que o Col reconheça a alteração e preocupação e aceita a alteração. Eu apoio a passagem do PE 16-98:

  37. PE 16-98 seems to me to be both urgent and important.

  38. I strongly support this enactment. Rotary has the power to raise the awareness of the humanitarian impact of climate change and throughout the world initiate actions (no matter how small) that might help to arrest this worldwide phenomenon.
    David Baguley, Gold Coast Rotary
    District 9640, Australia

  39. When we launched The Sustainability Trust in 2007, RI had a similar approach – namely that anything to do with a changing climate is political and therefore will not be contemplated. We were delighted that RC Wisconsin was able to form a RAG for Environmental Sustainability this year and thought that perhaps RI has moved into the 21st Century and realized that our changing climate is going to be the biggest challenge this century. Keep on trying to get this clear fact established. Rotary is the one worldwide voluntary institution that can make beneficial things happen for the good of the human race. But first we have to find a way to enshrine the need to take action into our codes of practice. You have our full support in making this happen.

  40. Dr Chris Reynolds

    We ar rapidly destroying the Great Barrier Reef, the range of species our planet supports and increasing the sea level at an alarming rate. We must stop buying coal and turn to gas first and renewables as technology allows. I am from District 9630 and live in Brisbane Australia

  41. Rotary needs to act decisively in projects a climate change
    Murilo Valle
    District 4420, Rotary Club Santo André 8 de Abril, SP, BRAZIL

  42. This initiative is absolutely necessary and we have a duty to save the earth. Let’s go!

  43. My club, the RC of Belvoir-Wodonga decided to join ESRAG to help move Rotary towards being more proactive in sustainability issues. There is no greater issue than climate change. It is pointless for Rotary to be providing support for the victims of weather-related disasters when such disasters have increased by 300% since 1980. It would be better to attack the major cause – climate change.

  44. Luz Cotoco , Rotary Club of Ortigas Center D3800, Philippines

    I support the amendes proposed amendment 16-98.

  45. Raphael N Okigbo

    It is the work of Rotary to raise the awareness of the humanitarian impact of climate change all over the world. My club supports the proposed act and amendment on the climate change

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