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United Methodist Net Zero Campaign Launch

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Conference Newsletter, Earth Care

All Christians are called to be stewards of the precious and beautiful world that God created and commissioned to our care. For many years, scientists have warned us that some of the practices of our modern lifestyle are changing and threatening life on our fragile planet. The Board of Global Ministries has been called to provide more funds than ever before for relief from natural disasters, and they created a special division called Earthkeepers to help make the situation known in United Methodist congregations. The hope is that informed individuals and churches can find ways to help decrease their own release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and help slow the global warming that will make drought, super storms, fire, flood and famine ever more devastating and costly.

The Desert Southwest Conference Covenant Council has given our newly re-activated Earth Care Task Force the responsibility of providing an action plan for our Conference to join other Annual Conferences and numerous general agencies of the United Methodist Church in working toward the goal of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 in our Conference facilities, homes, and churches. The Desert Southwest Conference Earth Care Task Force is beginning that task by providing all interested laity and clergy information, tools, and encouragement so that we can all work together to build a net zero emissions economy by 2050. It is our hope that you will present this brief summary of the Net Zero commitment to your church’s administrative board and begin a discussion of ways that each church and agency in the Desert Southwest Conference can work toward net zero carbon emissions. We would be pleased to hear from you about steps that you are already taking to help protect the beauty of our earth.

The following is a brief description by the alliance of UM agencies of the commitment, the definition of Net Zero, why it’s important, and how it can be achieved. The DSC Earth Care Task Force will continue to support this campaign as described above. Click here to review the complete Net Zero document.

Our Pledge

 We, the agencies of The United Methodist Church, pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 across ministries, facilities, operations, and investments and to leverage the gifts of our connection putting equity and justice at the center as we build a net-zero emission economy by 2050.

WHAT DOES NET ZERO MEAN?

Put simply, net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any remaining emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere, by oceans and forests.

WHY IS NET ZERO IMPORTANT?

To prevent the worst impacts of climate change and preserve a livable planet, global temperature increase needs to be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Currently, the Earth is already about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the late 1800s, and emissions continue to rise. To keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C — as called for in the Paris Agreement — emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

HOW CAN NET ZERO BE ACHIEVED?

Transitioning to a net-zero world will require transforming how we produce, consume, and move about. Replacing polluting coal, gas and oil-fired power with energy from renewable sources, such as wind or solar, would dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

Source: United Nations Climate Action: Net-Zero Coalition

Submitted by the following members of the DSC Earth Care Task Force:
Jeanne Festa
Wendy Kreider
Ann Jarrell
Kate Kosse
Billie Fidlin

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About the author

Billie K. Fidlin

Billie K. Fidlin is the Director of Outreach & Justice for the Desert Southwest Conference. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and attended Claremont School of Theology for religious studies. Ms. Fidlin currently serves as the President of the Arizona Faith Network in her second term. She is President & Founder of Whisper n Thunder Inc., and sits on various boards including the Justa Center and the Phoenix Police Department's Faith Advisory Council. Her awards include the UM Foundation for Evangelism 2004 Distinguished Evangelist; 2016 Church Women United / United Nations Human Rights Award; 2018 Servant Leader Award AZ Faith Network; 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center Certificate of Recognition; and 2022-23 Class of Who's Who in America.

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