About Climate Change

In its first public statement in 1977, the Uniting Church in Australia expressed what would be an abiding concern with the wellbeing of the planet for the rights of future generations.

In part, this statement read: 'we are concerned with the basic human rights of future generations and will urge the wise use of energy, the protection of the environment and the replenishment of the earth’s resources for their use and enjoyment.'

The natural environment is, however, not merely a resource for the benefit of human beings but has intrinsic value as part of God’s good creation. In 1991 the Uniting Church declared that, 'Nature has a right to the protection of its eco-systems, species, and populations in their inter-connectedness'.

The Uniting Church’s commitment to the environment arises out of the Christian belief that God, as the Creator of the universe, calls us into a special relationship with the creation – a relationship of mutuality and interdependence. We believe that God’s will for the earth is renewal and reconciliation, not destruction by human beings.

The Uniting Church regards climate change as a serious threat to the future and integrity of life on earth. The Uniting Church is particularly concerned with the fate of some of our most vulnerable Pacific neighbours. Our partner churches in the Pacific have called on their sisters and brothers in the church throughout the world to act in solidarity to reduce the causes of human induced climate change by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, reducing energy use and developing clean, renewable energy sources.

The Church believes that it is important for the Australian Government to set and commit to meeting serious targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions primarily through the promotion of renewable energy sources, measures to reduce energy demand and promotion of energy efficient measures. The Church has a long history of concern with the nuclear fuel cycle and remains unconvinced about the use of nuclear power as a solution to global warming. We believe that the continued research, development and implementation of renewable energy are absolute priorities for governments and industry in order to minimise greenhouse gas production.