Resolution "Global Warming"
United Church of Christ Statement on Global Climate Change

WHEREAS, General Synod has voted broad environmental resolutions and the Integrity of Creation, Justice and Peace (ICJP) priority in the distant past but these broad policies do not give specific or timely policy guidance on current environmental issues such as global warming;

WHEREAS, the Bible is clear in its call to us to be caretakers ("stewards," and "managers" in the NRSV) of God's creation (Genesis 2:15), and in the covenant between God and Noah and "every living creature" we are called to care for God's creatures and to protect the means of creation that we may "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 9:10);

WHEREAS, Psalms 24 declares, "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof," we human beings do not possess the earth but are called to care for it as good stewards;

WHEREAS, the industrialized nations are the main producers of gases that cause global warming and the United States, with only 4% of the world's population, still emits 22% of these gases;

WHEREAS, 2,500 scientists of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have concluded that these human-made gases are causing the earth's temperature to rise and these scientists project an increase of 2-6 degrees Fahrenheit during our children's lifetimes;

WHEREAS, such gases released into the atmosphere absorb some of the out-going infrared radiation from the surface of the earth causing the atmosphere to warm;

WHEREAS, such gases released into the atmosphere block the natural reflection of the sun's radiation from the earth back into space and thus cause a "greenhouse effect" just as our cars heat up when left in the sun with windows closed;

WHEREAS, the continued release of greenhouse gases will cause devastating effects on agricultural and natural ecosystems, the flooding of coastal regions and island nations, increased volatility of weather patterns with severe heat waves and storms, migration of tropical insects, diseases, deforestation, desertification and displacement of human populations; and

WHEREAS, 160 nations agreed to a binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gases in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Twenty-second General Synod of the United Church of Christ:

recognizes the dangers of global warming and our biblical mandate as stewards of God's creation to be diligent in our efforts to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases;

affirms the greater responsibility of industrial nations and especially the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

encourages local churches, Conferences and national agencies to engage in efforts to educate and advocate for ratification of the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty and to address their own lifestyles (institutional and personal) to assure the minimum production of wastes that threaten the environment;

urges all members of the United Church of Christ to contact their U.S. Senators affirming the need to ratify this treaty as first step in meeting the threat of global warming;

urges governmental representatives to support legislation that regulates and reduces pollution and provides for alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels; and

calls on the Office for Church in Society and the United Church Board for World Ministries and its successors to keep the global warming issue as a high priority in their educational and advocacy efforts.

Funding for this action will be made in accordance with the overall mandates of the affected agencies and the funds available.

Back to the list of Faith Statements on Global Climate Change