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June 23, 2017
American Baptist Churches' (ABC) Creation Justice Network released a recent statement standing in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. "I have been encouraged by the responses of cities, states, and businesses around the [United States] who have pledged to maintain the nation's commitment to the Paris Agreement with or without Washington's support," said Rev. Ian Mevorach, a member of the ABC Creation Justice Network Steering Committee. "As people of faith we have an important role to play in shaping public opinion and empowering people to claim our responsibility as stewards of God's creation."
Read the full statement below.
Washington—We, the members of the Creation Justice Network of the American Baptist Churches, USA, are deeply saddened by President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement and to no longer contribute to the Green Climate Fund.
The Paris Agreement calls on countries to set voluntary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a major contributor to climate change, and keep the Earth’s temperature from increasing to 2° Celsius. If we do not control our greenhouse gas emissions and the planet’s temperature, then droughts, floods, and other natural disasters will happen more regularly. This will threaten lives, water supplies, and food systems. Climate change is already impacting millions of vulnerable people around the world. As one example, Somalia is on brink of famine due to warmer weather that has led to a 3-year drought—putting 3 million people at risk of starvation.
The United States is one of the biggest emitters of carbon and thus bears a large responsibility to its citizens and the rest of creation to be a leader in addressing the current and looming problems around climate change.
As people of faith, we recognize that the earth is out of accord with the way God created it. Scripture calls us to care for each other and creation. When the Paris Agreement was ratified in December of 2015, it was a moment for the United States along with 196 other countries to lift up and act on those values.
We urge President Trump to reconsider his decision and to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement.
ABC Creation Justice Network Steering Committee
The steering committee members of the ABC Creation Justice Network, and authors of this statement, are: Ashley Anderson, Karyn Bigelow, Dwight P. Davidson, Stacey Simpson Duke, Kathleen Moore, Jamie Washam, David Wheeler, Tom Carr, Ian Mevorach and Don Ng.
From time to time, Task Forces are established by the Board of General Ministries to study different issues. In their study, Task Forces often create statements and/or provide materials for local churches who want to discuss issues. The views expressed in this statement are the result of this committee studying this subject. They are distributed in the hope of stimulating healthy, productive discussion on this subject. They are not an official word from any American Baptist organization, region or local church, and do not reflect any official policy decisions.