President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that calls for a rewrite of the Clean Power Plan, the policy intended to be a blueprint for reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants by nearly 30 percent from 2005 levels. The Clean Power Plan was the mechanism for the United States to meet its carbon emissions reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement. The Executive Order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions. Here are some Christian communities' responses to the Administration's action. (We will continue updating this page as more statements become available.)
It has never been more important to make our voices heard at the People's Climate March on April 29 in Washington, DC. Join us: www.creationjustice.org/climatemarch
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE (read in full)
"By cutting back programs specifically designed to reduce carbon emissions, further damage — potentially irreparable — will be done to God’s Earth; this in turn, will place hundreds of thousands more of already at-risk communities in harm’s way. As a faith based organization on the front lines of responding to climate change in many countries around the world, including the United States, CWS is painfully aware of the additional burdens that these policies will cause."
CREATION JUSTICE MINISTRIES (read in full)
As Christians, we are first responders to climate damage. Disaster relief ministries struggle to meet challenges of rising floodwaters, merciless wildfires, and harsher storms. Hunger relief ministries seek to respond to severe droughts and disrupted access to food. Health ministries are dealing with higher rates of asthma and increased vector-borne diseases. We have a moral duty to prevent more harm. As caretakers of God’s creation, we are accountable to our Maker for sustaining the needs of current and future generations. As such, we call upon the Administration to re-examine its actions under this executive order and to remain true to its stated commitment of protecting the environment.
CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST) STATEMENT (read in full)
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), said of the executive order, “As Disciples, we are committed to bringing wholeness to a fragmented world. This recent executive order will do the opposite. Failure to care for our climate harms the most vulnerable among us — children, older adults, people who don’t have the luxury of being able to move away from pollution, and those suffering from respiratory and other illnesses. I call upon the Administration to re-examine its actions and to remain true to its stated commitment of protecting clean air.”
EPISCOPAL CHURCH BISHOPS' STATEMENT (read in full)
"We live in a moment that demands urgent action. In the Episcopal Church alone, our members are already experiencing hunger, drought, and human loss due to climate change. From the Alaska Native Gwich’in hunter facing food insecurity as winter approaches to the Navajo grandmother praying for drought relief, Episcopalians are eager to confront our changing climate through local action and national policy."
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA (read in full)
"We call upon the Administration to re-examine its actions under this executive order and to proceed with extreme caution. We also call upon the Administration to remain true to its stated commitment of protecting the environment and to base all actions on principles of stewardship, sustainability, and justice."
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA) STATEMENT (read in full)
Rev. Jimmie Ray Hawkins, Director of the Office of Public Witness of the PC(USA) said, "As people of faith who believe in a God of creation who commands good and proper stewardship of this gift, we must speak with one voice that this world is worth protecting. We affirm that climate change is real and impacted by the actions of human beings. We can protect the environment and affirm the dignity of work as we come together to produce solutions which enhance all aspects of created life. But environmental justice must be a priority or we will not have a future to work towards. 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,… and God saw that it was good.' (Gen 1:1; 10b)"
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (read in full)
In 2013, the United Church of Christ became the first religious organization to call for the divestment of funds from companies that primarily profit from fossil fuels. We believe this to be a theological imperative, a faithful response to a theological emergency. We believe that the current rate of fossil fuel consumption is a death trap from which we will not escape without deep commitments to significant changes. The modest steps taken by the previous administration to comply with the Paris Accords were helpful and necessary. Recent actions by the Administration to rollback environmental protections and responsible measures to address climate change are seen by us as a crime against humanity – an act that ensures the ongoing destruction of the planet and endangers future generations on whose behalf we are charged with stewarding God’s creation. The response of the faith community must be proportional to the threat. Because climate change makes all other injustice worse, now is the time for us to step up.
CATHOLIC CLIMATE COVENANT (read full text)
"The administration claims that these new orders will create jobs and grow the economy. The fact is, however, that those who work in energy conservation and renewable energy are already experiencing an economic boom. Government policies should support the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. As Pope Francis emphasizes, “There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy” (Laudato Si’ 26)."
JESUIT CONFERENCE OF THE US AND CANADA (read full text)
"We know the effects of climate change are borne by the most vulnerable people, whether at home or around the world. Increasing floods, droughts, food and water insecurity, and conflict over declining resources are all making the lives of the world's poorest people even more precarious. Pope Francis in Laudato Si', laments the widespread indifference to 'a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.' Catholic Relief Services echoed this concern in a recent report noting, 'As arable land and water become increasingly scarce, conflict looms, along with the potential for migration from the most affected countries and a repetitive cycle of costly emergency response.'"
SISTERS OF MERCY (read full text)
“Our sisters in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Philippines who are experiencing melting glaciers, rising sea levels and devastating storms have been calling on us in the United States to urge our government to take strong measures to address climate change,” said Sister Patricia McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. “This order ignores the cry of the Earth, our common home, and the cry of the most impacted peoples, including here in the United States, where low-income communities of color are disproportionately located near polluting industries that contribute to climate change.”
Trump Executive Order on Climate Rollbacks Threatens God’s Creation and the Most Vulnerable Among Us
On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and possibly repeal the Clean Power Plan and carbon pollution standards for new power plants. The executive order sets in motion the dismantling of several important climate change protections intended to safeguard our environment and public health. The executive order fails to offer an alternative plan to safeguard our air quality and the stability of the climate.
Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants account for 40% of the carbon pollution in the United States. Creation Justice Ministries serves communities burdened by these power plants’ air pollution. We are responsible to the children, older adults, people with respiratory diseases, and communities of color who bear a disproportionate burden when we fail to protect our air.
As Christians, we are first responders to climate damage. Disaster relief ministries struggle to meet challenges of rising floodwaters, merciless wildfires, and harsher storms. Hunger relief ministries seek to respond to severe droughts and disrupted access to food. Health ministries are dealing with higher rates of asthma and increased vector-borne diseases. Short-sightedness, greed, and apathy have burdened God's creation with irreversible damage. We have an urgent moral duty to prevent more harm.
As caretakers of God’s creation, we are accountable to our Maker for sustaining the needs of current and future generations. As such, we call upon the Administration to re-examine its actions under this executive order and to remain true to its stated commitment to protect clean air.
At this juncture, we believe another path forward is necessary and possible. Ecological and economic well-being should go hand-in-hand, and every day local communities are innovating creative climate solutions that also foster job opportunities. The love we have for our neighbors, for children, and for God’s good creation will strengthen our communities to prevail.
Creation Justice Ministries represents the creation care policies of 38 Christian communions, including Baptists, mainline Protestants, Historically Black Churches, Peace Churches, and Orthodox communions. Learn more at www.creationjustice.org
Contact: Shantha Ready Alonso, 202-618-2501 (mobile) firstname.lastname@example.org
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.