UMC Climate Updates
Our Bishops Speak
In 2009 the United Methodist Council of Bishops released “God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action,” a pastoral letter that addressed three interrelated threats to life and hope: pandemic poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons and violence. In November 2021, the Council described climate change “as an existential crisis the Church cannot ignore” and pledged, among other things, to review the pastoral letter and deliberate on how to address the interrelated issues of climate change, poverty, racism, and colonialism. The Call to Hope and Action website
(hopeandaction.org) includes practical resources that can help creation care ministry teams raise these issues in settings of worship and study, interpret them theologically, and prepare for faithful action.
Commitment to Net Zero
In 2021, eleven United Methodist agencies signed on to a joint statement, “Our Climate Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions.” Through this collaborative statement, these agencies pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero in their ministries, facilities, operations, and investments by 2050. Other agencies and the Council of Bishops have since signed on. “Net-zero” means achieving a balance in which no additional emissions are added to the environment, through the process of actually reducing emissions and/or balancing out the release of emissions in some areas of work by removing and/or sequestering emissions in others.
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