Statement of the NC Conference Creation Care Committee in response to the recent statement “General Agencies of the United Methodist Church Commit to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050”:
We applaud the general boards and agencies of the United Methodist Church on a very ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, signaling a huge commitment on their part to adequately care for God’s creation. It is nice to see that our boards and agencies consider caring for God’s creation to be part and parcel of what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Hopefully this commitment will also inform their mission of disciple making and world transformation in addition to how they go about their day to day operations.
However, we were hoping to see in this statement an intermediate goal of 45% – 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. In an effort to include this intermediate goal in the final draft, we communicated this hope to John Hill of Church and Society in a letter dated March 16, 2021, but we received no reply. Our hope now is that as each board and agency creates its own plans for accomplishing these goals, they will establish intermediate benchmarks to assure they are moving toward said goals.
As stated in our letter to Church and Society, “The temperature increase this planet will experience depends on the total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: steadily reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 30 years will result in less CO2 in the atmosphere than maintaining the current rate for 20 years and lowering emissions sharply from 2040 to 2050, for example. That explains the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urging that the world sharply reduce CO2 emissions over the 2020-2030 decade, and achieve a 45 percent reduction in emissions from the 2010 level by the year 2030.” We urge that this benchmark should be applied to the church.
We also encourage each board and agency to establish a timeline for the public release of their plan to meet their goals. We very much want to be able to celebrate each step our boards and agencies take toward implementation.
We would ask Wespath if total, 100% divestment from fossil fuels will be part of their plan. It is hard to imagine how Wespath can achieve zero emissions if they continue to insist on fossil fuel investments.
We would also like to offer ourselves, the North Carolina Annual Conference Creation Care Committee, to the boards and agencies if any of them would like assistance in creating their plans. We have expertise among our team members, and have connections with a whole cadre of grassroots United Methodists with amazing skills, education, talents, experience, and passions in this ministry of creation care. Additionally, we encourage the General Agencies to work with creation care committees and organizations throughout the United Methodist connection, as there are many Methodists who are committed to making the UMC a better steward of God’s creation.
We want all of you to know that we’re here for you, rooting you on, and are willing and able to do whatever we can to make your commitment successful. Congratulations!
Committee on Creation Care
North Carolina Annual Conference
Rev. Jarrod S. Davis, chair
To show your support, please add your name to this letter: