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Climate & Environmental Justice

All life is interconnected. From the forest to the sea to humanity itself, each thread of being is woven into a single fabric of existence. We embrace nature’s beauty and are in awe of its power. We care for our environment so that it may sustain life for generations to come. We do this in partnership with those most impacted by environmental destruction, who are often marginalized in the larger culture. Often these "frontline" communities are impacted hardest and have fewest resources to recover. We collaborate because it is only with the knowledge and experience of these communities that equitable and sustainable change can happen. 

Creating a sustainable way of life is central to our view of a just and compassionate world. Our work must be intersectional, as described by the worldwide Sustainable Development Goals that start with the elimination of poverty, and for which climate action is an integral part.

What We Are Doing

  • Green Sanctuary Program
    Our congregations demonstrate their commitment to environmental justice by aligning their values with their actions through becoming certified Green Sanctuaries. For 15 years the Green Sanctuary program has helped more than 230 UU congregations live out this commitment through spiritual connection, education, sustainable living, and social justice. Newly updated since 2012!
  • Climate Justice
    In partnership with the UU Ministry for Earth, Create Climate Justice Net was created to give UU climate and environmental  justice activists and coalition partners a valuable tool for education, collaboration, and organizing. Subscribe to our newsletter or view the newsletter archives.
  • Ethical Eating
    We recognize the moral consequences of our food choices and pay attention to the impact of our involvement in the food system. Starting in 2011, UUs across the country committed to engage with eating as an ethical issue. Learn more through the ethical eating study guide and worship resources. 
  • Divestment and Socially-Responsible Investment
    In 2014, Unitarian Universalists became one of the first religious groups to commit our financial investments to environmental justice. We have called on our denomination, our congregations, and our individual members to engage with how investments can be socially responsible, using available SRI resources.
  • UN Climate Justice Initiative 
    This initiative builds the UU climate change movement through education, advocacy, and collaboration with other climate change voices at the United Nations in order to promote a viable world with mitigated climate change.

Worship, Learn, and Live Your Faith

Worship

Education

  • Resource Guide (PDF) for the 2006 "Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change" Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Statement of Conscience
  • Demonstrating Our Values through Eating (DOVE): a free food education curriculum written for Unitarian Universalists. The six-week course incorporates video, discussion, cooking sessions, and supplementary materials on themes of health, justice, compassion and sustainability.
  • "Our Place in the Web of Life": Download this introductory curriculum designed by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE). In five sessions, the curriculum is a thorough introduction to environmental justice advocacy in a Unitarian Universalist context. Using highly-participatory techniques, the lesson plans take you through a journey exploring your values and the consequences of the choices you make
  • Climate Change Religious Education Curriculum: This curriculum has been developed by the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations (UU@UN), and many of the solutions discussed are from the UN.

Stories

Partnership

Effective justice ministry depends on partnership, since climate change and environmental destruction touches everyone. UU partners for environmental justice work, beyond the Unitarian Universalist Association, include UU State Action Networks, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the UU College of Social Justice, and UU Ministry for Earth. UUs also form interfaith partnerships, such as with GreenFaith and Interfaith Power and Light.

Join Create Climate Justice to connect with other activists and coalition partners.

The UUA Fossil Fuel Divestment Report

General Assembly 2019 marked five years since the passage of the 2014 Business Resolution on Fossil Fuel Divestment. That resolution called on the UUA to redirect capital invested in fossil fuel stocks to climate change solutions. It also called on the UUA to ramp up its shareholder advocacy with fossil fuel companies. This video, presented in General Session on Friday, June 21, shows how we can drive change when we band together with other committed investors. 

Learn more & read the report

Young woman holds plastic earth ball at rally for environmental justice in Louisville, KY, June 2011.

UUs rally for environmental justice in Louisville, KY

Book cover What We're Fighting For Now Is Each Other

Justice on Earth People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment

From Skinner House Books

Fourteen activist ministers and lay leaders apply a keen intersectional analysis to the environmental crisis, revealing ways that systems of oppression intersect with and contribute to ecological devastation.

Buy Now