Strasbourg, France – Mennonite World Conference is working toward the “greening” of its 2009 global assembly in Paraguay by compensating for the exhaust emissions of air travel.

It will utilize a new carbon offset program launched by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), an agency that specializes in business solutions to poverty. The program, called the MEDA Green Investment Fund, promotes renewable energy sources by investing in environmentally beneficial businesses in developing countries.

MWC officials have for some time grappled with the atmospheric impact of air travel by General Council members, staff, the Paraguay 2009 travel fund and registrants.

“We had decided earlier to begin setting aside a self-imposed levy on all MWC travel to be available for ‘green’ projects of MWC member churches,” says general secretary Larry Miller.

At the same time, MEDA was devising a carbon offset fund to invest in alternative energy ventures that serve the poor. Consultations between Miller and MEDA president Allan Sauder led to MWC officers endorsing the MEDA Green Investment Fund for use internally as well as by registrants for Paraguay 2009.