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Environmental Protection Resolutions Readopted

by Yvette Moore

A Future with Hope; Fort Worth, Texas - 2008 General Conference - The United Methodist Church

Fort Worth, TX, May 2, 2008--General Conference delegates renewed three resolutions initiated by the Women's Division and the General Board of Global Ministries to protect the environment in separate votes this week. The measures required renewal under a 2004 General Conference rule mandating review of resolutions eight years after adoption.

The renewed "Dioxin-Free Future" resolution addresses the impact of dioxins on human health, particularly on incidents of cancer in women. Dioxins are a chlorine-based pollutant not found in nature that's often a by-product of manufacturing or waste disposal processes. The revised resolution notes that in 2005 the Environmental Protection Agency officially characterized Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD) as carcinogenic to humans. In 2006 the National Academic Research Council unanimously agreed to classify TCDD as likely to be carcinogenic to humans. The resolution calls for discontinued production of dioxins in waste disposal processes, and production of items such as papers and plastics.

Acting on this resolution, the Women's Division successfully mobilized United Methodists in a campaign for national stationery chain stores to carry Processed Chlorine Free paper in 2004. Office Depot now offers a store-brand paper that is Processed Chlorine Free. (see United Methodist Women Leader Buys Processed Chlorine-Free Paper at Office Depot )

The revised "Dioxin-Free Future" resolution was adopted in an 839-34 vote.

"The Global Economy and the Environment" resolution called for international production standards that protect the environment in a growing world market. The resolution addresses the rapid depletion of natural resources and contamination of air, water, and land as nations with strict environmental regulations compete with nations with few or no controls in this area. The Women's Division initiated the resolution, which was readopted without language revision in an 836-28 vote.

Global Ministries introduced the "Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation" resolution, expressing joint concern for the rights, dignity, and intrinsic worth of humans and God's creation. The measure, readopted without language revisions, calls on Global Ministries and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society to give priority to integrated programs supporting a just economic order and true security of all nations and peoples, building a culture that can live in harmony with creation, and eradication of US and international racism and discrimination. It urges United Methodists to covenant with Christians around the world to fulfill the goals of  "justice, peace, and the integrity of creation," which was the theme of the 1990 World Council of Churches convocation in Seoul, Korea.

Other environment-related resolutions adopted at General Conference were:

  • "The Protection of Native American Sacred Sites," which calls for the General Board of Church and Society to support legislation that will provide for a legal cause of action when sacred sites may be affected by governmental action.
  • "Preserving God's Creation," which calls for production of an environmental guide to help people lessen their impact on the natural world by making environmentally conscious decisions in their personal and community lives. A total of $150,000 was approved for the guide to be distributed electronically among annual and central conferences, as possible.
  • "Global Warming," which calls on United Methodists to adjust personal lifestyles, make their congregations more environment-friendly, and educate themselves and their communities to take action on this issue.

*Yvette Moore is an executive secretary for communication with the Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.

See Also...
Topic: Environment General Conference United Methodist Church
Geographic Region: South Central U.S.United States
Source: GBGM Mission News

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Date posted: May 02, 2008