At a special congregational meeting on Sun., Nov. 3, 2013, the members of UUCF voted 123-1 in favor of this Congregational Resolution on Climate Change. Click here of a printable version of this resolution.

October 13, 2013

Whereas:

We affirm the value of life, the sacredness of each person and all life on the planet. Out of this affirmation we are called to protect and cherish life. In this moment in history, we recognize the impact of our actions on the fate of the interdependent web of life on our planet.

Global climate change is fundamentally a moral, ethical and justice crisis.  We, as individual UUs, our UUCF community, and faith communities everywhere have a religious responsibility to act and bear witness, to work together to avert and to limit the potential catastrophes of climate change.

Climate change is real.  The scientific consensus is that the causes of climate change are not primarily natural, but stem from the human burning of fossil fuels and disrupting natural means for retaining and absorbing carbon and other greenhouse gasses.

Climate change is harming people now and already causing bird, mammal and plant species extinctions.  The potential consequences of the climate change problem are catastrophic and without parallel for civilization and for many species.

People who are poor, at home and abroad, will suffer disproportionately.  Some regions of the world will suffer much more and sooner than will we in this country.

Although options exist for avoiding the worst consequences of climate change and for limiting the effects of past and current greenhouse gas pollution, we are fast approaching tipping points where humanity will not be able to stop climate and civilization catastrophes and the widespread extinction of many species.

Climate change is one of the greatest moral, technical and political issues in human history.  We affirm the value of hope even in the gravest of circumstances–a hope justified not only by the power of human action for good, but also by our understanding of the creative force of life in the universe. Thus we commit ourselves to live and act with hope.

Therefore, be it resolved:

UUCF affirms that we ground our mission and our ministries in reverence for the Earth and take responsible action personally, as a congregation, and as citizens to avert this catastrophe.

We demand action from our elected leaders to implement effective solutions, starting with the adoption of enforceable agreements to rapidly and significantly reduce local, national and, in concert with other countries, global greenhouse gas emissions,

We call for the U.S. government and state and local governments to undertake specific initiatives that have the greatest potential to directly counter the forces that are causing climate change, and to do so within the short time we have left to avert the worst climate chaos:

  • Price carbon to reflect its true societal price in order to lower demand for fossil fuels, to encourage use of non-polluting energy sources.
  • Work with other countries to use market, regulatory and treaty tools to sharply reduce US and international greenhouse gas emissions, and to assist peoples and environments facing extraordinary climate-based pressures.
  • Dramatically reduce emissions from power plant energy sources, especially coal-fired power plants, shifting to emission-free or very low emission alternatives, as well as strong emission controls to promote carbon capture and long-term carbon storage to cut emissions from power plants that cannot economically be replaced.
  • Strengthen the renewable energy infrastructure, energy conservation, storage and power distribution, and investing in technologies essential for effective use of renewable energies such as the “smart” electrical distribution grid.  Create sustainable markets for renewable energy.
  • Sharply reduce fossil fuel extraction activities, in particular coal, oil tar sands, oil/gas shale fracking, mountain-top removal and environmentally damaging drilling on public lands and off-shore. Cut fossil fuel subsidies.

We commit to take personal and congregational responsibility for reducing our own carbon footprints through our choices in transportation, in our homes and buildings, in use of renewable resources, and in eating and serving energy-efficient food that is locally produced and low on the food chain;

We pledge help and call for our leaders to assist communities who bear great burdens of global climate change, including indigenous peoples, subsistence communities, communities of color, and those whose economic security may be affected by energy policies necessary to speed the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.

Be it further resolved: the Social Justice Council shall be charged with reporting annually to the congregation on UUCF actions, progress and new initiatives related to addressing these resolutions on climate change.