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Intersectional Priority: Climate Change

In 2022, the Presbyterian Mission Agency recognized three intersectional priorities that will fully connect to the current Matthew 25 foci of dismantling structural racism, building congregational vitality and eradicating systemic poverty. These three intersectional priorities are: climate change, militarism, and gender justice/heteropatriarchy.

“Intersectionality” is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 to describe “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.” In the same way, these “intersections” provide critical overlays for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s foci (building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty).

These intersections were identified in the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s strategic visioning process as persistent and serious threats to the well-being of communities thrust to the margins. However, simply identifying them is not enough. Working with our ecumenical partners, we are committed to preserving and enhancing the future of humanity and indeed all Creation.

 

Climate Change

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long recognized our obligation to take actions as faithful stewards of God’s Creation to respond to climate change. The General Assembly actions in 1981, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 acknowledge the realities of global warming, its effect on the “least of these” and the need to reduce energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels.

Climate change intersects with systemic poverty and structural racism. Climate change is a particularly acute threat for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia — the regions where most of the global poor are concentrated. It is estimated that 821 million people (1 in 9 of the world’s population) do not get enough to eat.

Through education, advocacy, training and partnerships—and paying attention to the critical intersections with building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eliminating systemic poverty—we seek to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global average temperature to an increase of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

For multiple resources around climate change, see https://www.presbyterianmission.org/eco-journey/climate-change-resources/. To connect to various staff on the climate roundtable, or for more climate resources on climate or to learn about Earth Care Congregations, contact Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns Jessica Maudlin at Jessica.maudlin@pcusa.org.