Faith Statements

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change

2006 Statement of Conscience
Updated August, 2011

Earth is our home. We are part of this world and its destiny is our own. Life on this planet will be gravely affected unless we embrace new practices, ethics, and values to guide our lives on a warming planet. As Unitarian Universalists, how can our faith inform our actions to remedy and mitigate global warming/climate change? We declare by this Statement of Conscience that we will not acquiesce to the ongoing degradation and destruction of life that human actions are leaving to our children and grandchildren. We as Unitarian Universalists are called to join with others to halt practices that fuel global warming/climate change, to instigate sustainable alternatives, and to mitigate the impending effects of global warming/climate change with just and ethical responses. As a people of faith, we commit to a renewed reverence for life and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.

A Statement from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

December, 2009

In preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference Of Parties (COP) Meetings, the Fifteenth Session, to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Hope We Share: A Vision For Copenhagen

A spiritual obligation to act on climate change

by Rev. Nelson Bock and others
September 30, 2009

From the Episcopal News Service

August 16,2009

At its 76th General Convention, meeting in Anaheim, California, the Episcopal Church passed several environmental  resolutions relevant to climate change:

  • Ask the church to restrict use of bottled water where safe and encourage every baptized Christian to practice energy and water conservation (A045).
  • Urge the U.S. government to enact equitable subsidies for renewable energy; adopt a federal renewable energy standard; support federal programs worldwide that practice sound environmental stewardship (C011).
  • Endorse the Earth Charter; encourage dioceses, congregations, agencies and individuals to take action consonant with it (C064).
  • Affirm that the church become a signatory to the Genesis Covenant, committing to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from every facility it maintains by at least 50 percent within 10 years (C070).

For more details, see the Episcopal Church website.

The 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.)

2008

The General Assembly dopted a new energy policy that revises the denomination’s 1981 energy policy to take account of the impact of our energy choices on global climate change. The document The Power to Change: U.S. Energy Policy and Global Warming is available in PDF form.

Statements from the United Methodist Church’s Social Principles

2008 (Read more at the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society)

Energy Resources Utilization

Affirming the inherent value of nonhuman creation, we support and encourage social policies that are directed toward rational and restrained transformation of parts of the nonhuman world into energy for human usage and that deemphasize or eliminate energy-producing technologies that endanger the health, the safety, and even the existence of the present and future human and nonhuman creation. Further, we urge wholehearted support of the conservation of energy and responsible development of all energy resources, with special concern for the development of renewable energy sources, that the goodness of the earth may be affirmed.

Global Climate Stewardship

We acknowledge the global impact of humanity’s disregard for God’s creation. Rampant industrialization and the corresponding increase in the use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere. These “greenhouse gas” emissions threaten to alter dramatically the earth’s climate for generations to come with severe environmental, economic, and social implications. The adverse impacts of global climate change disproportionately affect individuals and nations least responsible for the emissions. We therefore support efforts of all governments to require mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and call on individuals, congregations, businesses, industries, and communities to reduce their emissions.

British Methodist church calls climate change a moral issue

Anthea Cox, the denomination’s coordinating secretary for public life and social justice, said this issue requires deep reflection in every Methodist congregation. “We are hearing from partner churches about the increasing injustice that climate change inflicts on the poorest nations,” she said. Read more

Pope Benedict

Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. Rather, it means not selfishly considering nature to be at the complete disposal of our own interests, for future generations also have the right to reap its benefits and to exhibit towards nature the same responsible freedom that we claim for ourselves. Nor must we overlook the poor, who are excluded in many cases from the goods of creation destined for all.

Presbyterians called to live a carbon-neutral life

The General Assembly called for Presbyterians to live a carbon-neutral life first by reducing their use of fossil fuel energy and second by purchasing offsets to make up for the amount they still contribute to carbon emissions. (Carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming.) “We are called as Christians to love our neighbors and, how we, individually and corporately, react to climate change and our own role in causing global warming demonstrates this witness to God.” Learn more: Presbyterian Hunger Program

An example: Wheat and global warming

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Rev. Mark Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and presiding bishop of ELCA, said that LWF can help create a global movement to limit or halt environmental degradation, but it must have many partners and large numbers of people to be effective. In his report he said it was “spiritual blasphemy” to treat God’s creation as “an adversarial wilderness, a godforsaken wasteland, a natural resources dump to be used for our own self interest rather than cared for in obedience to God for its own sake.” “I am absolutely convinced that even with 68 million members, the LWF alone cannot turn around global warming and stop the melting snows on Kilimanjaro,” he said. “I do believe that we can be a force, joining with others to create a movement in the world that has the capacity to bring to an end the environmental crisis that is causing the snows to melt (and) the rivers to dry up.”