Statements of World Religions on Climate Change

1 world

2006 UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST: Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change

3/10/08 Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change

12/1/08 Bahai International Community: Seizing the Opportunity: Redefining the challenge of climate change

April 2009 Presbyterian Church USA – U.S. Energy Policy and Global Warming

June 2009 A Quaker response to the crisis of climate change

11/30/09 Dalai Lama Urges World to Act on Climate Change

September 2011 United Methodist Church Statement on Climate Change

2/29/12 Judaism and Climate Change: The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media

4/19/12 Environment & Ecology in Islam

6/30/13 United Church Of Christ To Become First U.S. Denomination To Move Toward Divestment From Fossil Fuel Companies

5/30/14 Catholic – U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Climate Change

6/10/14 UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS

6/28/14 THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION JOINS FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT MOVEMENT

7/11/14 World Council of Churches rules out fossil fuel investments

9/18/14 First Sikh Statement on Climate Change

9/19/14 Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada: A Pastoral Message on Climate Change

9/23/14 Interfaith Climate Change Statement

3/30/15 17 Anglican Bishops from all six continents have called for urgent prayer and action on the “unprecedented climate crisis

5/14/15 A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change: The Time to Act is Now

6/15/15 Pope Francis’ ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

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22 thoughts on “Statements of World Religions on Climate Change

  1. WH

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    First Lady Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama tour Milan with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife
    Milan, Italy

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
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    President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Shooting in South Carolina
    The White House

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    President departs the White House
    South Lawn

    12:25 PM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews

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    President Obama arrives in Los Angeles
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    President Obama attends a DNC roundtable discussion event
    Private residence, Los Angeles, CA

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    President Obama attends a DNC reception/dinner event
    Private residence, Los Angeles, CA

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    President Obama overnights in Southern California

  2. Climate Change

    Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions. Certain human activities have also been identified as significant causes of recent climate change, often referred to as “global warming”.

    Scientists actively work to understand past and future climate by using observations and theoretical models. A climate record — extending deep into the Earth’s past — has been assembled, and continues to be built up, based on geological evidence from borehole temperature profiles, cores removed from deep accumulations of ice, floral and faunal records, glacial and periglacial processes, stable-isotope and other analyses of sediment layers, and records of past sea levels. More recent data are provided by the instrumental record. General circulation models, based on the physical sciences, are often used in theoretical approaches to match past climate data, make future projections, and link causes and effects in climate change.

    For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change

    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

      12/2/2010

      United Nations Climate Change Conference Cancun – COP 16 / CMP 6

      The United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. It encompasses the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), as well as the thirty-third sessions of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the fifteenth session of the AWG-KP and thirteenth session of the AWG-LCA.

      http://unfccc.int/2860.php

    • CLIMATE CHANGE AND PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ACTION PLAN

      THE UNITED STATES IS LEADING GLOBAL EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THE THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE. WIND POWER HAS TRIPLED, AND ENERGY FROM THE SUN HAS INCREASED TENFOLD. U.S. CARBON EMISSIONS HAVE FALLEN BY 10 PERCENT FROM 2007 TO 2013 – THE LARGEST ABSOLUTE EMISSIONS REDUCTION OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. TO BUILD ON THAT PROGRESS, PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS TAKEN A SERIES OF AMBITIOUS STEPS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE.

      In June 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Clean Power Plan – the first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants that will protect the health of our children and put our nation on the path toward a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030. Power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution, accounting for about one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Power Plan will set standards for carbon pollution from power plants, just as we have set limits on power plant emissions of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and soot.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change

      • June 18, 2015

        Statement by the President on Pope Francis’s Encyclical

        I welcome His Holiness Pope Francis’s encyclical, and deeply admire the Pope’s decision to make the case – clearly, powerfully, and with the full moral authority of his position – for action on global climate change.

        As Pope Francis so eloquently stated this morning, we have a profound responsibility to protect our children, and our children’s children, from the damaging impacts of climate change. I believe the United States must be a leader in this effort, which is why I am committed to taking bold actions at home and abroad to cut carbon pollution, to increase clean energy and energy efficiency, to build resilience in vulnerable communities, and to encourage responsible stewardship of our natural resources. We must also protect the world’s poor, who have done the least to contribute to this looming crisis and stand to lose the most if we fail to avert it.

        I look forward to discussing these issues with Pope Francis when he visits the White House in September. And as we prepare for global climate negotiations in Paris this December, it is my hope that all world leaders–and all God’s children–will reflect on Pope Francis’s call to come together to care for our common home.

        For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/18/statement-president-pope-francis’s-encyclical

        • June 18, 2015

          Statement by the President on Pope Francis’s Encyclical

          I welcome His Holiness Pope Francis’s encyclical, and deeply admire the Pope’s decision to make the case – clearly, powerfully, and with the full moral authority of his position – for action on global climate change.

          As Pope Francis so eloquently stated this morning, we have a profound responsibility to protect our children, and our children’s children, from the damaging impacts of climate change. I believe the United States must be a leader in this effort, which is why I am committed to taking bold actions at home and abroad to cut carbon pollution, to increase clean energy and energy efficiency, to build resilience in vulnerable communities, and to encourage responsible stewardship of our natural resources. We must also protect the world’s poor, who have done the least to contribute to this looming crisis and stand to lose the most if we fail to avert it.

          I look forward to discussing these issues with Pope Francis when he visits the White House in September. And as we prepare for global climate negotiations in Paris this December, it is my hope that all world leaders–and all God’s children–will reflect on Pope Francis’s call to come together to care for our common home.

    • This Year Is Headed for the Hottest on Record, by a Long Shot
      Hottest May, hottest five months. It’s a scorcher.

      June 18, 2015 by Tom Randall – bloomberg

      We broke the record. Again.

      Last month was the hottest May on record, and the past five months were the warmest start to a year on record, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s a continuation of trends that made 2014 the most blistering year for the surface of the planet, in records going back to 1880.

      The animation below shows the Earth’s warming climate, recorded in monthly measurements from land and sea over more than 135 years. Temperatures are displayed in degrees above or below the 20th-century average. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years are in the 21st century, and 2015 is on track to break the heat record again. It isn’t even close.

      Results from the world’s top monitoring agencies vary slightly. NOAA and the Japan Meteorological Agency both had May as the hottest month on record. NASA had it as tied for the second-hottest. All three agencies agree that there has never been a hotter start to the year than the past five months.

      The heat was experienced differently across the world. People in the U.S. Midwest had an unusually cool May. But most of the rest of the globe had unusually warm to downright scorching temperatures.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-06-18/this-year-is-headed-for-the-hottest-on-record-by-a-long-shot

    • Democrats vs Republicans on Climate Change

      GOP platform highlights the party’s abrupt shift on energy, climate

      August 30, 2012 By Brad Plumer – washingtonpost

      Over the past four years, the Republican Party has undergone a fairly dramatic shift in its approach to energy and environmental issues. Global warming has disappeared entirely from the party’s list of concerns. Clean energy has become an afterthought. Fossil fuels loom larger than ever. And one way to see this shift clearly is to compare the party’s 2008 and 2012 platforms.

      It may seem difficult to believe now, but back in 2008, the Republican Party’s platform (pdf) had a long and detailed section on “Addressing Climate Change Responsibly.” Here’s how it opened:

      The same human economic activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. While the scope and longterm consequences of this are the subject of ongoing scientific research, common sense dictates that the United States should take measured and reasonable steps today to reduce any impact on the environment. Those steps, if consistent with our global competitiveness will also be good for our national security, our energy independence, and our economy.

      The 2008 platform went on to call for “technology-driven, market-based solutions that will decrease emissions, reduce excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, increase energy efficiency, mitigate the impact of climate change where it occurs, and maximize any ancillary benefits climate change might offer for the economy.”

      This language didn’t just come out of nowhere. At the time, a handful of prominent Republican politicians appeared genuinely interested in tackling climate change. Then-Senator John Warner (R-Va.) was co-sponsoring legislation to reduce the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions. On the presidential campaign trail, John McCain was talking up his cap-and-trade program that would put a price on carbon. (McCain, for his part, was one of the earliest members of Congress to endorse this idea.)

      The 2008 GOP platform certainly didn’t agree with liberals and environmentalists on everything. Far from it. The document put a heavy emphasis on nuclear power, which tends to cause some green groups to bristle (although many Democrats softened their opposition to atomic energy in the years that followed, in a failed effort to woo conservatives on climate policy). The platform also had harsh words for “doomsday climate change scenarios” and “no-growth radicalism.” Yet the 2008 GOP platform was, essentially, taking part in a debate over how best to tackle greenhouse gases—not about whether the climate was changing at all.

      Skip ahead to 2012, and the GOP platform takes a markedly different tone. That section devoted to climate change? Gone. Instead, the platform flatly opposes “any and all cap and trade legislation” to curtail greenhouse gases. It demands that Congress “take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations.” It criticizes the Obama administration’s National Security Strategy for “elevat[ing] ‘climate change’ to the level of a ‘severe threat’ equivalent to foreign aggression.” The platform even tosses in what appears to be a subtle swipe at climate scientists:

      Moreover, the advance of science and technology advances environmentalism as well. Science allows us to weigh the costs and benefits of a policy so that we can prudently deal with our resources. This is especially important when the causes and long-range effects of a phenomenon are uncertain. We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research. [Emphasis added]

      The language echoes an op-ed written by Paul Ryan in December of 2009, which accused climatologists of using “statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” Ryan’s charges were untrue; a number of subsequent investigations into the leaked Climate Research Unit e-mails found no evidence of wrongdoing by the scientists involved. Nevertheless, the insistence that research institutions lack “scientific integrity” remains intact.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/30/gop-platform-highlights-the-partys-drastic-shift-on-energy-climate-issues/

  3. First Lady Michelle Obama’s London Itinerary

    Thursday, June 18th
    __________________

    First Lady Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama tour Milan with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife
    Milan, Italy

    • Michelle Obama lights candles in Italy for shooting victims

      6/18/15 By COLLEEN BARRY – The Associated Press

      MILAN — Michelle Obama and her daughters visited Milan’s Duomo cathedral on Thursday, where an official traveling with her said they lit candles in memory of the victims of the shooting in South Carolina.

      The first lady, dressed in black, and her elder daughter Malia were seen by photographers entering the Gothic-inspired cathedral on the unannounced stop. They were joined by the Obamas’ younger daughter Sasha and the first lady’s mother Marian Robinson, the official said.

      For more; http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/michelle-obama-lights-candles-in-italy-for-shooting-victims/

  4. US to put woman on new $10 bill

    6/17/15 afp

    Washington (AFP) – The US will put the image of a woman on an American banknote for the first time in over a century, breaking the lock that white male political heroes have on the greenback.

    The US Treasury announced Thursday that a yet-unchosen woman, likely “a champion for our inclusive democracy,” will feature on the $10 note from 2020, replacing Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury.

    Only twice before have women featured on US paper currency.

    Martha Washington, the wife of first president George Washington, was on $1 notes in the 1880s and 1890s. Pocahontas, a Native American woman linked to the colonial settlement at Jamestown, was featured in a group of people on banknotes in the 1860s.

    Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the woman on the new $10 bill will be chosen by the Treasury after fielding the ideas of the public “about what qualities best represent democracy.”

    Hinting at where the candidates will come from, Lew said the change will take place on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, when American women gained the right to vote.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/us-put-woman-10-bill-treasury-015939374.html

  5. June 17, 2015

    Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

    As the new crescent moon brings in the holy month of Ramadan, Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those observing the month of fasting in the United States and around the world.

    Ramadan is a time in which families and communities come together for iftars and prayers in festive gatherings that demonstrate the rich and diverse traditions of Muslim societies and cultures.

    It is also a deeply spiritual time of reflection and renewal meant to increase thankfulness and consciousness of God’s mercy. Muslims honor each day of Ramadan as a day of patient endurance through fasting, and each night as a night of gratitude through prayers. It is a time to reinforce faith, compassion and forgiveness, and perseverance through adversity. In this month of giving, Muslims around the globe reach out to assist those afflicted by conflict, hunger, poverty and disease. And here in the United States, American Muslims join their fellow citizens to serve the less fortunate, hosting inter-faith activities that build understanding and remind us that we stand together as one American family. The diversity and patriotism of America’s religious communities give strength to all of us, and our freedom to worship reminds us of the values we share.

    I once again look forward to welcoming American Muslims to the White House for our annual White House iftar dinner to honor the month of Ramadan and recognize the service of American Muslims from across the country. From my family to yours, Ramadan Kareem.

  6. Decline in U.S. Jobless Claims Shows More Labor Market Strength

    6/18/15 by Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

    Fewer Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, a sign labor market momentum continues to strengthen.

    Jobless claims declined by 12,000 to 267,000 in the period ended June 13, the lowest since the week ended May 9, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 277,000 new applications. The figure corresponds to the week the government surveys employers to calculate the monthly payroll data.

    The low level of firings indicates employers are optimistic demand will firm as the world’s largest economy rebounds from a first-quarter slowdown. While hiring also has picked up and the jobless rate is hovering just above the level policy makers say is consistent with a stable job market, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that more progress is needed.

    Claims have been “mostly been locked in this general range for quite some time now, but still with that underlying downward bias,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto and the second-best forecaster of claims over the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The job market remains very strong. I don’t think that bigger picture has changed.”

    Applications for jobless benefits have held below 300,000 for 15 straight weeks. Estimates from 48 economists in the Bloomberg survey for claims ranged from 265,000 to 290,000. Filings in the prior week were unrevised at 279,000.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-18/jobless-claims-in-u-s-declined-more-than-forecast-last-week

  7. Consumer Comfort in U.S. Climbs After Falling Record Nine Weeks

    June 18, 2015 Erin Roman – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence stabilized after falling a record nine straight weeks as Americans became less downbeat about the economy.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to 40.9 in the period ended June 14 from 40.1 the prior week. A monthly measure tracking the economic outlook rose to 47.5 in June from 44 in May.

    The recent decrease in weekly sentiment that extended back to early April coincided with rising fuel costs even as households benefited from improving labor and real estate markets. Persistent gains in gasoline prices, which have climbed this week to the highest since November, could thwart further advances in confidence.

    “If that continues, this week’s pause in the index’s downward trajectory may not hold,” Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates LLC in New York, which produces the data for Bloomberg, said in a statement. “At the same time, other indicators may help; this week’s thaw is buttressed by strengthening reports on jobs and the housing market.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-18/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-climbs-after-falling-record-nine-weeks

  8. Gauge of US economy posts solid 0.7 percent May advance

    Gauge of future health of US economy jumps 0.7 percent in May, second strong monthly gain

    6/18/15 By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An index designed to predict the future health of the economy posted a second straight strong increase in May, indicating the economy should gain strength in the second half of this year.

    The Conference Board says that its index of leading indicators rose 0.7 percent in May, matching the gain in April. Both months represented the strongest increase since a 1 percent rise last July.

    Conference Board economists say that the two months of strong gains support the expectations that the economy will keep expanding in the final six months of the year.

  9. Statement by the President on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

    12:20 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.

    Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.

    Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

    Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.

    The FBI is now on the scene with local police, and more of the Bureau’s best are on the way to join them. The Attorney General has announced plans for the FBI to open a hate crime investigation. We understand that the suspect is in custody. And I’ll let the best of law enforcement do its work to make sure that justice is served.

    Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case. But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing.

    But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

    The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.

    The good news is I am confident that the outpouring of unity and strength and fellowship and love across Charleston today, from all races, from all faiths, from all places of worship indicates the degree to which those old vestiges of hatred can be overcome. That, certainly, was Dr. King’s hope just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama.

    He said they lived meaningful lives, and they died nobly. “They say to each of us,” Dr. King said, “black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely with [about] who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American Dream.

    “And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him, and that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace.”

    Reverend Pinckney and his congregation understood that spirit. Their Christian faith compelled them to reach out not just to members of their congregation, or to members of their own communities, but to all in need. They opened their doors to strangers who might enter a church in search of healing or redemption.

    Mother Emanuel church and its congregation have risen before –- from flames, from an earthquake, from other dark times -– to give hope to generations of Charlestonians. And with our prayers and our love, and the buoyancy of hope, it will rise again now as a place of peace.

    Thank you.

    END
    12:28 P.M. EDT

    • June 18, 2015

      Statement by the Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

      Hate has once again been let loose in an American community. And the senseless actions of a coward have once again cut short so many lives with so much promise. Our hearts ache with sorrow with the entire Emanuel AME Church family as they seek solace and comfort in the shadow of a gunman’s act of pure evil and hatred. Our love and prayers are with them.

      We last saw Reverend Clementa Pinckney less than a year ago at a prayer breakfast in Columbia. He was a good man, a man of faith, a man of service who carried forward Mother Emaunel’s legacy as a sacred place promoting freedom, equality, and justice for all. We pray for him and his sister as we do for the seven other innocent souls who entered that storied church for their weekly Bible study seeking nothing more than humble guidance for the full lives ahead of them.

      We have no doubt the coward who committed this heinous act will be brought to justice. But as a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities.

      As Mayor Riley made clear, all of Charleston’s heart bleeds today—but the overwhelming display of unity will bring forth the city’s healing. We will never forget those innocent souls who lost their lives. We will be there with all the strength and support and prayers we can offer to the families who now grieve. And as a nation we will come together.

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