Position on Climate Change:
The ELCIC understands that:
- Climate change is real and influenced by human actions;
- Increasingly severe impacts are already being experienced on every continent, with growing economic and social costs;
- If we act now it will still be possible to keep global warming below the internationally agreed danger-threshold of an increase of 2 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, carbon pollution must be reduced quickly; and
- Climate change is a matter of social and economic justice, as it most affects the poorest people and displaces the most vulnerable.
As those who live in the resurrection hope of renewal and restoration for all of God’s creation, we believe we cannot stand by and ignore the impacts of Climate Change. Creation groans under the weight of human action and inaction (Romans 8:22). Our hope for justice and peace for all, and our trust in God, forms the impetus for this statement. We believe that taking global action now can make a difference.
- 2015: National Convention adopted the ELCIC Resolution on Climate Justice: “…the ELCIC commits to joining the global Christian community, and people of all faiths and persuasions, on the journey for climate justice.” The resolution call on members, congregations, synods, and the National Church to:
- Take action to initiative or strengthen policies and practices aimed at becoming sustainable and eco-friendly, with the goal of becoming carbon-neutral at organizational, congregational, and personal levels by 2050
- Register as an Accredited Greening Congregation through the Stewardship of Creation program of the ELCIC. http://elcic.ca/stewardship/stewardship-of-creation/default.cfm
- Encourage others in the communion by sharing good practices through the LWF Facebook page “LWF for Climate Justice”
- Engage in sustained climate justice advocacy with local and national governments in the perspective of COP20 in Lima, Peru, and all along the process leading to COP21 in Paris, France. This advocacy would be based upon the advocacy call of the LWF and the policy papers on climate justice of the ACT Alliance
- Participate in ecumenical and interfaith climate justice initiatives in the local, national and regional contexts
- Sign up to the #fastfortheclimate campaign on the 1st day of each month until December 1, 2015, at the beginning of COP21 in Paris; “We fast in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable who are unduly affected by extreme weather events. We fast to underline the urgency of the negotiations on climate change. We fast in many different places and faith communities worldwide, united in a common practice. We fast for climate justice.”
- 2015: World Federation announced that it would not invest in fossil fuels. The council also called on its member churches “not to invest in fossil fuels and to support energy efficiency and renewable energy companies, and to encourage their institutions and individual members to do likewise. The General Secretary Rev. Dr. Martin Junge said that “as a Lutheran Communion, we understand climate change as an issue of justice, peace, care for creation and protection for all peoples everywhere. We raise a special concern for the most vulnerable, in particular the poor, the indigenous people, and the voiceless.”
- 2013: The National Church Council has named “Compassionate Justice” as one of the four key priorities for the ELCIC for the years 2013-2017, and has identified pursuit of right relationships with Indigenous people, promotion of responsible resource extraction, and expansion of creation stewardship initiatives amoung primary areas of focus.
- 2015: Signed on to the Canadian Council of Churches’ statement: On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada.
- 2011: Rev. Susan Johnson, national bishop of the ELCIC, signed Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change.
- 2009: ELCIC National Convention passed a motion asking National Bishop to express concerned support for the KYOTOplus goals to governments. The motion advocated for:
- A national target to cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions at least 25% from 1990 levels by 2020
- Implementation of an effective national plan to reach this target, and help developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change
- Adoption of a bold, strengthened second phased o the Kyoto Protocol at the pivotal United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in December.
- Greening Congregation Accreditation Program: encourages congregations to become greener by acknowledging churches that show leadership
- ELCIC website has Stewardship of Creation Resources, including bible study and small group guides
- Web of Creation: Ecology Resources to Transform Faith Communities and Society – has lots of resources for personal and church greening activities
- Ecumenical sermons, small group studies, songs, prayers, and opportunities for action at cpj.ca/climate
Please note: CPJ has compiled this resource using publicly available information to help people of faith join the action already being taken by their national church. It is not meant as a comprehensive history, but if we’ve missed something important please let us know by emailing ac.jpc@etamilc.