Joint Agency Statement on COP23
We understand climate justice not simply as an environmental or economic concern but rather as a deep ethical and spiritual concern that the Church must address so that abundant life is ensured for our children and future generations.
—2016 Book of Resolutions, #1035 Climate Change and the Church's Response
As world leaders gather for the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we bear witness to the urgent need for bold action to protect God's people and God's planet. With a focus on climate vulnerable nations and under the leadership of Fiji as the COP23 President, Parties should seek to strengthen their commitments to mitigation, adaptation and finance to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In 2015, we called for a binding, international agreement with ambition equal to the urgency of the climate crisis. We applaud the swift ratification of the Paris Agreement and the work of those who are acting on their commitments. Since then, we have witnessed governments, businesses and civil society boldly embracing the transition to a just and sustainable future. Yet there are some whose actions risk destabilizing this global pledge to action. We appeal to all world leaders to honor their commitments to implement the Paris Agreement.
The United Methodist Church is contributing to the orderly transition to a low-carbon and sustainable world through our investments, our disaster response and risk reduction work in climate vulnerable nations, and our advocacy supporting emissions reductions, a just transition and adaptation assistance. Our resolve to work for climate justice is rooted in our faith and informed by our presence with communities around the world experiencing extreme weather, rising sea levels, disease, hunger and forced migration. These relationships compel us to align our investments, missions, education and advocacy to build resilient communities and address the interconnected threats of climate change, disease, poverty, discrimination and violence that are likely to multiply absent immediate action.
The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the
transformation of the world.
Along with United Methodists around the world, we pray that courage, wisdom and compassion guide the upcoming negotiations to implement the Paris Agreement. We urge world leaders to listen to the voices and experiences of those most impacted by climate change and strengthen our common commitment to justice, stewardship and sustainability.