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CRC Statements on Climate Change

Synod 2008 approved an updated version of Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testamony in 2008, which identifies climate change as a creation care issue of importance for the church: 

51. We lament that our abuse of creation
has brought lasting damage
to the world we have been given:
polluting streams and soil,
poisoning the air,
altering the climate,
and damaging the earth.
We commit ourselves
to honor all God’s creatures
and to protect them from abuse and extinction,
for our world belongs to God.

In 2006, Peter Borgdorff - then the Executive Director of the CRCNA - and Andy Ryskamp, the Director of CRWRC, both signed the Evangelical Climate Initiative statement, Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action.  The statement declares that "human-induced climate change is real," and it calls on the U.S. government to pass legislation establishing limits on carbon dioxide emissions.  "Christians must care about climate change, because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God himself." 

In July 2009, the Office of Social Justice and CRWRC both signed on to a Micah Network Declaration on creation stewardship and climate change, calling on world leaders to address climate change and environmental degradation.  

The CRCNA Board of Trustees endorsed the Declaration on behalf of the denomination in February 2010.

The Micah Network Declaration states that in the beginning God made a creation characterized by just relationships. However, we have often failed in our calling to be faithful stewards of God's creation, which has produced the current environmental crisis and led to climate change.  The declaration affirms that "rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions are causing the average global temperature to rise, with devastating impacts already being experienced, especially by the poorest and most marginalized groups."

Therefore, we commit to follow God's calling to participate in the renewal of all creation. "We join with others to call on local, national, and global leaders to meet their responsibility to address climate change and environmental degradation through the agreed intergovernmental mechanisms and conventions, and to provide the necessary resources to ensure sustainable development...[and] to protect the lives and livelihoods of those most vulnerable to the impact of environmental degradation and climate change."

CRC ministries around the world are extremely worried about the effect that climate change is already having on the poorest of the poor whom we serve. CRWRC staff find that the people they work with who are in vulnerable economic, social, and political conditions are experiencing the impact of climate-related events right now—they are losing access to food, water, work, and are already suffering from the direct effects of environmental degradation.  We cannot continue to face our brothers and sisters in Christ while doing – and saying – nothing about what they name as the most important barrier they face: a climate changing before their eyes. 

Thus, our Reformed faith demands action on climate change not only to fulfill God's calling to be caretakers of His creation, but also the command that we love our neighbors.