Poll reveals strong support amongst US Evangelicals for tackling climate change

By staff writers
October 12, 2007

More evidence emerged yesterday that opinions amongst Evangelical Christians over climate change have changed significantly in the last couple of years.

A poll of US Evangelicals found that nine out of ten Evangelicals believe that the US should seek to curb its global warming pollution, regardless of what other nations do.

The news came as representatives of the 111 signatories of the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) came to the Washington DC yesterday to call on lawmakers to enact "prudent and comprehensive climate legislation".

The national poll by Ellison Research, also released yesterday found that 84 percent of evangelicals support legislation to reduce global warming pollution levels, and 54 percent are more likely to support a candidate that works toward that end (with only 10 percent less likely to support a candidate who works for global warming action).

Evangelical leaders attending a forum of the Evangelical Climate Initiative and the National Association of Evangelicals this week also met their own US Representatives yesterday. In addition, the entire group of leaders has sent the poll results and a summary of the group's Call to Action to Members of Congress.

"What we are seeing is significant support among evangelical Christians for prudent measures that will help stop and reverse levels of global warming pollution and will be consistent with God's call to all of us to be stewards of his incomparable creation," said David Clark, president of Palm Beach Atlantic University, former chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters, and an ECI signatory.

The Ellison Research poll found that 70 percent of evangelicals believe global warming will have an impact on future generations, and 64 percent say that action against it should begin immediately.

89 percent of evangelicals agreed that the US should seek to curb its global warming pollution, regardless of what other nations do.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative first introduced its Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action in February 2006 with a national media campaign, and in March 2007 ECI released a list of its concerns titled: Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change.

"We are seeing more and more interest and concern on all environmental issues, including climate change, in evangelical churches, schools, and organizations across the country," said Rev. Jim Ball, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network and an ECI signatory and spokesman. "But so far, the federal government has been unable to advance comprehensive climate policy. We're contacting Members of Congress to let them know that evangelicals would like to see serious action."

Approximately one quarter of the 111 Evangelical Climate Initiative signatories represented the group in Washington, DC yesterday, including Rev. Glenn Palmberg, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church; Scott Rodin, president of the Christian Stewardship Association, Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland church in Orlando; Rev. Jo Anne Lyon, president of World Hope International; Matthew Sleeth, executive director of A Rocha USA and author of Serve God, Save the Planet; Ed Johnson, president of the Au Sable Institute for Environmental Studies; Clark and Ball.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative is 111 evangelical leaders who are -- as a result of their commitment to Jesus Christ and concern for His creation -- are encouraging action by evangelical Christians and all Americans to make life changes necessary to help solve the global warming crisis and to advance public policy that will limit global warming pollution, while respecting economic and business concerns.

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