Caring for the environment

General Assembly 2018 made a decision about responsible stewardship of God's creation.

Assembly decided to commit to reducing our impact on the environment, acknowledging the important role we as Christians play in being stewards of God’s creation. Further, Assembly endorsed a list of achievable and measurable actions aimed at reducing our collective impact on the environment.

Assembly agreed that the list of actions be sent to every congregation, church schools, and social service agencies with a connection to the Church to report on their progress of implementation. The report to Assembly, including list of actions, can be read here.

General Assembly 2016 adopted the “We Say Yes” statement, which includes reference to the Church's beliefs about caring for creation:

“We say yes to a sustainable and zero carbon economy: we say no to policies and practices that contribute to unsustainable growth such as dependence on fossil fuels and excessive lifestyles. Therefore we advocate movement towards clean and sustainable energy and action to limit destructive human impacts on the environment.”

General Assembly 2014 declared investment in the fossil fuel industry to be unethical, socially irresponsible and contrary to the Church’s mission of “caring for creation”. At this time, the Church requested that its Property Trustees, who manage the major funds of the Church, consider divesting from fossil fuel investments. Read more

General Assembly 2008 accepted a declaration on the climate and environment prepared by the Church's Ecological Task Group. Read more

The Church supports the Government’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and we advocate for the ordering of our lives – as individuals and organisations - around sound principals of sustainability. We urge the Government to reiterate NZ’s anti-nuclear stance by condemning international plans to use nuclear power as a means of mitigating greenhouse emissions. We also urge the Government to hasten its development of strategies for the treatment and reduction of emissions caused by our agricultural sector, which causes most of NZ’s emissions.

What is the Church doing

  • See more on what the Church is doing to Care for Creation here.
  • Congregations have been encouraged by the Church’s governing body, General Assembly, to audit their environmental footprints.
  • The Presbyterian Church has made a declaration on climate change the environment Read the Declaration here
  • The Church Leaders group, of which the Presbyterian Church is part, presented a paper on climate change “Protecting New Zealand’s environment and economy for current and future generations" to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
  • We make submissions on relevant legislation. Read our 2015 submission regarding setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target. Read the submission