Environmental Justice 1994 General Resolution

BECAUSE we affirm justice and compassion in human relations, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence; and

BECAUSE we share the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and

WHEREAS waste and pollution, overconsumption by the world's affluent few, and the pressures caused by poverty and burgeoning populations are inflicting harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment, and have endangered the future we wish for both humanity and the rest of nature;

WHEREAS the poor, the powerless, the landless, and the disinherited are often compelled to carry the major burdens of waste and pollution without representation in planning and decision-making processes;

WHEREAS the concept of environmental justice links the principles of liberal religion with the values of ecological awareness and racial and class justice;

WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association has adopted separate resolutions on specific economic, political, and environmental issues, it also realizes that environmental justice requires an integrated, holistic approach; and

WHEREAS the Union of Concerned Scientists, the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (1991), the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992), and other assemblies and organizations are seeking to move environmental justice higher on the public policy agenda;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and urge its affiliates, member societies, and individual Unitarian Universalists to:

  1. promote programs for social, economic, and political empowerment so that all people may join together in one struggle for peace, justice, and sustainable development;
  2. support the development of democratic and ecologically responsible community organizations, labor unions, and business cooperatives;
  3. develop religious education and community action programs honoring cultural and religious diversity and connecting environmental issues to other social justice concerns;
  4. set time aside for seasonal celebrations to honor our interdependence and to deepen our commitment to natural and cultural diversity; and
  5. work with the Unitarian Universalist Seventh Principle Project, the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, and others to implement the recommendations of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development; and
  6. commend the President of the United States for the issuance of Executive Order 12898 of February 11, 1994, which addresses environmental justice in minority and low-income populations;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and encourage its affiliates, member societies, and individual Unitarian Universalists to bear witness to the need for environmental justice by reducing their consumption of the earth's resources, generating as little waste as possible, recycling, and making a commitment as producers, investors, and consumers to living in an ecologically balanced and responsible manner.