Environmental Resolutions to be Considered at General Synod 32

by Barbara Darling


The Environmental Ministries Team of the MACUCC is excited that there are environmental resolutions coming before General Synod 32.  We unanimously endorse these two resolutions:

Let Justice Roll Down – Declaring Support for the Green New Deal and Affirming the Intersectionality of Climate Justice with All Justice Issues.  By declaring its support, Synod will proclaim the intersectionality of climate justice with all justice issues and offer a path of action and hope by which humanity can address the defining moral issues of our time.  The Green New Deal, an important statement of goals and aspirations, reflects values dear to our faith and demonstrates connections between action for justice in human communities and action against climate change.

Resolution Regarding the Use of Plastic Foam (i.e. Styrofoam). Given that plastic foam is a known pollutant and suspected carginogen, and that plastic foam produces problems with landfills because it does not decompose, all persons of faith are encouraged to reduce their use of plastic foam.

The Massachusetts Conference Environmental Ministries Team is not taking a position on the Resolution titled “On Support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019” (HR 763).  We strongly believe that “putting a price on carbon” can and should be one of our tools in reducing our use and dependence on fossil fuels and in encouraging a shift to renewable sources of energy.  And in the context of the urgency raised in the 2018 IPCC Report, we need those changes as soon as practicable.  We applaud the sponsors of this Resolution in putting this issue before the Synod.  However we also strongly believe that there are certain principles or values which we want to see in such legislation and urge Synod Delegates and our member churches to press for these basic principles at both the Federal and state levels.  Among those are

  • The most vulnerable among us, including low- and moderate-income households and communities of color, must be treated justly and equitably, and must not bear a disproportionate financial burden
  • Provisions must be made for a just transition for workers and communities affected by this transition in our economy
  • All greenhouse gas emissions must be covered, including methane and refrigerants
  • Existing laws and regulations that limit emissions must not be suspended or eliminated
  • Corporations may not be granted immunity from liability or prosecution for their actions
  • Major sectors of the economy, such as agriculture and the military, must not be exempted from coverage
  • Any fees must be high enough to make a meaningful impact as we seek to move quickly to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions   
Massachusetts Environmental Ministries encourages all churches and their members to seek ways of becoming knowledgeable in these and other climate justice issues, and to engage in steps to use their voice to make a difference in climate change, the moral and existential crisis of our time.

Barbara Darling is Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Environmental Ministries Team.

Barbara Darling

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