ELCA supports Paris agreement on climate change

12/17/2015 4:50:00 PM

​     CHICAGO (ELCA) – Affirming this church’s commitment to caring for God’s creation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) supports the outcome of the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which met in Paris Nov. 30-Dec.11. The summit concluded with the approval of the Paris agreement, which includes a commitment to keep global warming well below two degrees.
     “People of faith showed up in unprecedented numbers for the climate talks in Paris, because we believe that this moment includes a moral obligation to our most vulnerable neighbors, to future generations, and to all of God’s creation to act on climate change,” said Mary Minette, ELCA interim director of advocacy, in a statement responding to the Paris agreement. Minette was a delegate with Action for Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance). The ELCA is a member of the alliance.
     “The Paris agreement sets the world on a pathway to stewardship, justice and sustainability. All countries have, for the first time, agreed to take concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to review and increase their commitments over time,” the statement continued.
     “The Paris Climate Accord is significant in its recognition of climate change as ‘an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet,’” said the Rev. Dave Brauer-Rieke, bishop of the ELCA Oregon Synod and chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops Care of Creation Ready Bench – one of six ELCA ready benches. “The science can no longer be at issue. It is also important as a focus for global action and cooperation. However, the accord lacks needed specifics. Now, more than ever, we as the ELCA must step out as an example of faith in action, showing what it means for Americans to do what we have said we will.”
     The ELCA’s social statement, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” calls on the church to act “as God’s stewards of the earth.”
     The statement, adopted by the 1993 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, addresses the pursuit of justice for creation through active participation, solidarity, sufficiency and sustainability.
     “A sustainable environment requires a sustained effort from everyone. The prospect of doing too little too late leads many people to despair,” the social statement reads. “But as people of faith, captives of hope, and vehicles of God’s promise, we face the crisis.”
 The ELCA Advocacy statement is available http://ELCA.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAAdvocay/153.
 The ELCA social statement and “Caring for Creation” resources are available www.ELCA.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.7 million members in more than 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder
773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
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