The Uniting Church has a longstanding commitment to the environment, both because social justice and environmental sustainability are linked and because the environment has intrinsic value.
The Church believes that God, as the Creator of the universe, calls humanity into a relationship of mutuality and interdependence with the creation. God's will for the earth is renewal and reconciliation, not destruction by human beings.
The Church is particularly concerned about human-induced climate change, regarding it as a serious threat to the future and integrity of life on earth. The church is especially worried about the impacts on vulnerable communities such as those in the Pacific. Over the last decade, the Assembly has responded to Pacific churches' requests that churches throughout the world act in solidarity to reduce the causes of climate change.
In 2006, the Church adopted the statement "for the sake of the planet and all its people", which lays out the Church's position on climate change and fossil fuels: "The scientific evidence on global warming and its potentially disastrous impacts is now indisputable. Also beyond dispute is that the burning of fossil fuels and subsequent creation of greenhouse gas emissions... is seriously exacerbating the problems we face." The Assembly therefore called upon Church members to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and to advocate for government to implement policies to reduce Australia's dependence on fossil fuels.
The 2009 statement "An Economy of Life" concerned inter-linked crises confronting human and ecological wellbeing. The statement named these crises (including climate change, militarism, the energy crisis, the food crisis, and the global financial crisis) as deeply rooted in our social, political, and economic systems. The Assembly called upon all parts of the Church to participate in "a vision of flourishing, abundant life, of peace and reconciliation, justice and trans-formation, love and inclusion for all creation," and upon governments to develop policies and structures that support human and ecological flourishing.
See these statements and others at: www.unitingjustice.org.au/environment