Climate Change and our Responsibility

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BWA General Council Resolution 2012.5

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Santiago, Chile, July 2-7, 2012, renews resolutions of climate change made by the General Council in 2008 and 2009: and

CONTINUES TO BELIEVE AND AFFIRM:

  • God as creator, sustainer and Lord of all, who delights in and is committed to God’s creation;
  • The biblical teaching of respect for the earth and everything in it; and
  • The moral imperative to love one’s neighbor including future generations by caring for God’s creation; REPENTS that we have not always been faithful stewards of God’s creation owing to ignorance, neglect, arrogance and greed; CONFESSES that we have not responded adequately to God’s indignation and sorrow for creation’s agony, but rather have often exploited, consumed and abused creation for selfish advantage; LAMENTS that the world’s poor are most affected by climate change and are least able to adapt; REGRETS the lack of progress toward a global consensus on the urgent need to reduce human contribution to climate change that is having dramatic impact on God’s creation. This lack of progress is motivated in part by national and corporate greed and individual preference for unsustainable livelihoods; RECOGNIZES that an increased commitment is needed by the churches, conventions and unions of the Baptist World Alliance® and by Christians everywhere to act as agents of change and reconciliation with God’s creation; RENEWS THE CALL for multi-national corporations, national governments, the United Nations, and the agencies of these entities, to urgently promote climate change legislation and policies, which:

• Recognize common but differential responsibility of nations;

• Secure adequate public financing for poverty eradication, social equity and sustainable development;

  • Establish participatory accountability mechanisms and independent monitoring of commitments to action that were made at the RIO+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (June 20-22, 2012) and in previous meetings of the United Nations on Sustainable Development and Climate Change;
  • Keep human rights considerations in the forefront of sustainable development; CALLS UPON Baptist individuals, churches, conventions and unions as a matter of urgency to:
  • Support the framework for action advocated by the June 2012 Rio conference and join other civil society actors in monitoring the implementation of key commitments made by conference stakeholders in Rio;
  • Teach and model creation care;
  • Identify simple and practical means for immediate personal and corporate ecologically- appropriate lifestyle changes as a matter of Christian discipleship and actively advocate that their national leaders do the same;
  • Pray fervently for a renewed commitment worldwide to care for God’s creation and for the coming of God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven”. ENCOURAGES the Commission on Social and Environmental Justice and the Commission on Christian Ethics to work together to develop an equitable plan to offset the carbon footprint of the Annual Gathering and to recommend ways to reduce the carbon footprint of all Baptist World Alliance business meetings.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2012 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2012.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2012 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2012), pp. 151- 152.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2012.5 Climate Change and our Responsibility; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2012.5).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Since its formation in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the global Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.

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