Office of Public Information
United Methodist Communications
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2021
General Agencies of The United Methodist Church Commit to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
First of its kind commitment fosters collaborative action to drive change
Nashville, TN – In the first net-zero commitment of its kind, a group of 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.
Today’s commitment supports collective climate action – in partnership with the UMC, the broader faith-based community and all others with net-zero ambitions. Agencies will explore these climate efforts with a focus on supporting an equitable transition and “new ways of ministry that better embody God’s vision of justice for God’s people and God’s planet.”
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.
Agencies will work together in the coming months to solidify actions and strategies associated with the statement.
United Methodist Communications Contact:
Director of Public Relations
Wespath Benefits and Investments Contact:
Managing Director, Communications