After attending the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, three UCC climate leaders sought to convene others in the UCC who were also committed to addressing climate issues. After a series of conference calls, the UCC Council for Climate Justice was established with the dual purpose of raising awareness in the UCC about climate justice and bringing people together for action.
The Council strives to have representation from all conferences in the UCC. It further strives to live out the mandates of the 2015 resolution that calls for the establishment of a national task force devoted to the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The resolution further calls upon conferences to establish task forces dedicated to climate justice through the work of educating and organizing congregants as well as listening to congregants.
Through survey responses and retreats, the Council has outlined the following areas of focus:
- cultivating the kind of urgency and mobilization that is witnessed in times of war
- ratcheting up the engagement of local churches and their leaders
- going beyond a focus on individual behaviors to collectively address institutions and systems—ie., the oil industry.
- developing a pervasive prophetic culture within the Church
- advancing a perspective rooted in progressive theology and scientific understandings
- addressing the root causes of climate-related pollution as it relates to factors such as race, class, and global inequality
- sharing best practices for educating and organizing congregants
- cultivating collaborative endeavors with ecumenical, interfaith, and secular partners
- articulating the values that motivate people of faith to action through the framework of the UCC’s Three Great Loves initiative which lifts up Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation
Past actions of the Council include sponsoring nationwide climate vigils on the day of the 2017 presidential inauguration, sponsoring nationwide People's Climate Marches in 2017, and establishing a pilot partnership with 350.org.
Many of the conferences have a lead contact for those in their region who would like to connect. Find a lead contact near you.