The natural world is a loving gift from God, the creator and sustainer, who has entrusted it to us for his glory and to the good of all life on earth now and in generations to come. The image of God in us (Gen.1:27) is reflected in our abilities, responsibilities, and integrity, and in the power of the Holy Spirit we are called as God’s co-workers in dialogue and covenant with Him to live and serve for the good of creation.
We confess that we have turned our backs on our responsibilities in neglect, selfishness, and pride. And yet Christ’s redeeming and restoring work through His death and resurrection continues in face of death and devastation embracing all of creation. We have learned that God’s vision for His world is of peace and not disaster offering us a future filled with hope. (Jer. 29:11 CEB) This vision has a present and a future in the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. (Rev. 21:1-8 CEB)
Human induced climate change is a widely recognized fact caused by the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, for which the strong economies of this world carry the vast responsibility.
The average temperature of the globe by the end of the 21st century is estimated to have increased by 4 degrees Celsius which will result in sea level rise, shrinking glaciers, extreme weather, droughts, flooding which will dramatically affect the sustainability of human life in many areas of the world.
The current development is threatening the lives and livelihoods of many, particularly in the poor and vulnerable countries and regions on the globe and is estimated to put 20 percent more people at risk of hunger by 2050 due to the changing climate. (According to the World Food Program of the UN)
The sustainability of life today and in the future presupposes the sustainability of the world we have inherited and will pass on to the new generations, and as this sustainability is seriously threatened, so is the future of our children, youth and coming generations.
Climate change produced by humans presents an even deeper ethical and spiritual issue than simply caring for God’s creation. We are challenged with a divine prophetic calling to counter social and ecological needs and injustice, realizing that we cannot help the world and ask others to change their ways until we change our own ways of living.
Therefore, be it resolved that as a Central Conference
We call on members, local churches, institutions and agencies to make a purposeful effort to learn about human production and release of greenhouse gasses to evaluate their lifestyle and to identify areas where reduction in production and emission of greenhouse gasses can be made such as the use of better insulation, heating, electricity, cars, air-travel and more.
We ask pastors and lay-speakers to preach and teach on the care for God’s creation as part of our discipleship.
We strongly encourage that when designing new church buildings and facilities or when making major re-constructions every effort should be made to make the building energy neutral through the use of solar panels, wind energy, geothermal heating, heat pumps, better insulation or other relevant means and technologies.
We call on local churches, institutions, boards, committees and annual conferences to make every effort to significantly reduce air travelling and seriously and purposefully explore alternative means of conducting meetings and consultations through the use of communication technology, and when possible use energy and CO2 efficient means of travel like trains and busses.
We call on members and local churches to make attempts to educate others outside their church community on the need to take action on these issues and to partner with others who are of the same mind.
Be it further resolved
That we call on our parliaments and governments to require reductions in greenhouse emissions using the most efficient and cost-effective means.
Approved by the Central Conference 2016