As a profound reflection on the fundamental nature of our relationship to Creation, climate change is one of the most concerning issues to faith leaders of many faith traditions. For general responses to the moral, theological, and social implications of climate change from various religious groups, please visit the Perspectives & Resources pages. Click here for a recent article from NRPE's executive director on climate.
The Clean Power Plan sets goals for reducing carbon emissions from power plants on a state-by-state basis, ultimately helping the United States transition to an economy based on clean energy. The Environmental Protection Agency cannot currently enforce the Clean Power Plan due to legal challenges. Religious groups have spoken out and filed amicus briefs in support of the Clean Power Plan.
In June 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its first-ever set of regulations on methane emissions from new sources. The regulations attempt to cap the amount of methane, a greenhouse gas dozens of times more potent than carbon dioxide, that is released into the atmosphere in the process of drilling for gas and oil. Regulations on existing sources are still to come.
Faith Community on Climate Issues
- Catholic Leaders Express Hope that President Biden will rejoin Paris Agreement https://www.crs.org/media-center/news-release/catholic-leaders-express-hope-presidents-announcement-us-will-rejoin-paris.
- Church World Service Applauds Return to the Paris Agreement https://cwsglobal.org/press-releases/cws-applauds-return-to-the-paris-agreement/
- Quaker Lobby Applauds Biden's First Day Actions https://www.fcnl.org/updates/2021-01/quaker-lobby-applauds-bidens-first-day-actions
-Bread for the World Welcomes Rejoining the Paris Agreement https://bread.org/news/bread-welcomes-us-rejoining-paris-climate-agreement
-The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns maryknollogc.org/statements/executive-orders-climate-build-momentum-more-ambitious-action
- Click here to view the letter to Congress on the 100% Clean Energy bill. View the letter on 100% clean energy from South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia black church leaders.
Energy Efficient Congregations
Central Baptist Church in Pennsylvania is working where they are to improve their carbon footprint and teach others how to reduce theirs as well. In 2009, Central Baptist obtained a state grant to place solar panels on their church roof, and since then the Ecology ministry group of the church has been on the move. A Green Guide has been published for other congregations that want to employ energy saving practices, the congregation is working on becoming carbon neutral, and the Ecology group sells fair-trade ecological products on Sunday mornings, including energy saving florescent light bulbs.
Riviera Presbyterian Church of Miami, Florida is demonstrating their commitment to caring for God’s great earth in several different ways that cover different areas of care. The congregation has taken steps to contain their energy footprint and help the climate. They use a geothermal cooler to power air-conditioning for their sanctuary and employ the use of reusable and environmentally sustainable supplies for the church. The congregation also has native plants and plants that feed butterflies incorporated in their landscaping to aid the environment and God’s smallest endangered creatures.
The Paris Agreement, reached in December 2015, reaffirmed the international community's commitment to keeping global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius. While many of the commitments made in the Paris negotiations were relatively ambitious, it is unclear whether countries will follow through on them, and a lot of work remains to be done.
Resources and Statements
Driven by a concern that climate change must be addressed, the religious community has issued various letters, statements and court briefs: