Today in Washington the Evangelical Climate Initiative released a statement signed by 86 Christian leaders calling for federal legislation “requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program” (NYT Article, Time Article).
For this pro-business and mainly conservative constituency, the statement is a departure from and a challenge to the current position on global warming in both the White House and Congress.
The statement makes four claims:
- Human-induced climate change is real.
- The consequences of climate change will Be significant, and will hit the poor the hardest.
- Christian moral convictions demand our response to the climate change problem.
- The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change, starting now.
The statement will be followed by a TV ad campaign and community outreach programs. With Rick Warren, famed author of The Purpose Driven Life, behind the movement as well as a who’s who of church leaders, the initiative could be an important force in the climate change debate.
The issue remains a controversial one in the evangelical community, and the initiative came under quick and nasty criticism from the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance.
Nonetheless, it appears that evangelicals are poised to become a major force in the climate change debates, and hopefully a catalyst for concrete action. TerraPass has already been featured on the innovative site whatwouldjesusdrive.org, and several other Christian environmental initiatives are underway.
The campaign also released a nice poll showing that, like the rest of the America, evangelical christians believe climate change is taking place (75%) and that we should take action to reduce global warming, even if those actions have a high economic cost (50%).