Discipleship Ministries Joins the Joint United Methodist Church Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

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Nashville, TN - In the first net-zero commitment of its kind, Discipleship Ministries, 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.

"Discipleship Ministries is grateful for the opportunity to join the Climate Commitment affirming The United Methodist Church’s long-standing call for individual and collective work to address the climate crisis,” said Jeff Campbell, Acting General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries. “Discipleship Ministries has formed a task force to evaluate where we are and where we need to go in order to fulfill this pledge. We also commit to continue creating resources to help disciples understand that our involvement in creation care is an essential part of discipleship."

Discipleship Ministries has taken many steps over the last decade to reduce our energy consumption and embrace better environmental practices, but we have never taken the time to document this progress. By joining the Climate Commitment, we will begin to formally measure our current ecological impact and set goals to reduce our impact over time. We are committed to changing the ways in which we do our work, as we thoughtfully seek creative alternatives to travel, in-person events, and printing and shipping of resources.

The statement is endorsed by 11 General Secretaries and agencies:

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.

Discipleship Ministries will work together with other signatories in the coming months to solidify actions and strategies associated with the statement.

The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at http://www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.