Our climate change campaign is focused on building a movement and creating the political will to address climate change among communities of faith.
When we demonstrate the inextricable link between climate change and issues Christians care about, significant ground can be made on winning over new populations to the importance of taking action on climate change. We have been holding discussions with prominent Christian international development and relief organizational leaders about how to reach their people on climate change. Sojourners is working with 200 evangelical scientists who are calling on Congress to act on climate change. (Click here to listen to the press call and read the statement.)
A crucial component of the project involves determining how best to message to evangelicals about the effects of climate change and how to counter arguments from those denying human responsibility for climate change. We have co-commissioned with Oxfam a study looking at the compelling arguments that persuade evangelicals to believing in climate change. We are continuing to disseminate these results and increase the environmental movement’s ability to engage and activate the evangelical and broader faith community.
Sojourners is planning an aggressive campaign over the next year, focusing on the upcoming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, due to be announced in June 2014, followed by a 60 day comment period. We will focus on reaching and mobilizing evangelicals and progressive Christians in traditionally conservative areas, constituencies often not reached by environmental groups. Evangelicals, especially evangelicals under 35, are concerned about poverty and justice, but many of them have not made the connection to climate change. We want to help them make that link through environmental justice. We also want to give people an opportunity to take meaningful action on the issue. We are focusing on the EPA’s rules governing existing coal- and natural gas-fired power plants because that is the only currently feasible path to addressing climate change on a macro level. Leveraging younger and more moderate evangelical voices as well as progressive Christians in conservative areas focused on the effects that coal- and gas-fired power plants and climate change have on vulnerable populations can shift the political conversation on climate change and build support for policy proposals to address the causes of climate change.
Sojourners will continue to inform the public and mobilize our own more than 200,000 online activists in all 50 states, including 60,000 pastors and congregational leaders.