2014-2021 Press Releases
United Methodist Women Joins United Methodist Church Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
First of its kind, commitment fosters collaborative action to drive change
NEW YORK— In the first net-zero commitment of its kind, United Methodist Women, along with other agencies of The United Methodist Church (UMC), today released a joint statement, “Our Climate Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions.” The collaborative, multi-institution statement pledges to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the organizations’ ministries, facilities, operations, and investments by 2050. “Net-zero” describes the process by which human-caused greenhouse gas emissions can be balanced, or “netted out,” by removing emissions from the atmosphere.
The statement acknowledges that the UMC “has long affirmed our individual and collective responsibility to address the unfolding climate crisis.” In light of these values, the group said it was “called by our faith, informed by science, and led by our relationships with impacted communities” to respond urgently.
“Caring for creation is a biblical directive, God’s very first charge to humans in Genesis,” said Harriett Jane Olson, CEO and general secretary of United Methodist Women. “And when we fail to care for Creation, women and children on the margins are most at risk in terms of their health and livelihoods. Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 is imperative. To reach that goal, we must act now.”
Climate Justice is one of United Methodist Women’s two priority social justice issues. Its Just Energy for All Campaign mobilizes members to advocate for energy that is cleaner and more just for all of God’s people and creation.
The statement is endorsed by 11 General Secretaries and agencies:
- The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS)
- The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM)
- The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM)
- The General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH)
- The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW)
- The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA)
- Discipleship Ministries
- United Methodist Communications (UMCom)
- United Methodist Men (UMM)
- United Methodist Women (UMW)
- Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath)
Additional UMC agencies are also actively considering endorsing the statement.
The commitment comes at a time of growing climate action around the globe. Following the U.S.’ decision to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement, nine of the world’s 10 largest economies have stated ambitions to become carbon neutral. Meanwhile, corporate commitments to achieve net-zero have tripled in the last year.
Today’s announcement coincides with Earth Day, an international celebration of the planet, as well as the Biden Administration’s virtual “Leaders’ Summit on Climate”— a meeting of world leaders focused on climate action leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November.
United Methodist Women will work together with other signatories in the coming months to solidify actions and strategies associated with the statement.
United Methodist Women is the nation’s largest denominational organization for women. Members turn their faith, hope, and love into action, raising more than $10 million annually to support community centers and other programs empowering women, children, and youth in the United States and around the world.
Contact: Yvette Moore, email@example.com