The Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) is a campaign by US-American church leaders and organizations to promote market based mechanisms to mitigate global warming.


The Evangelical Climate Initiative was launched in February 2006 by the National Association of Evangelicals.[1] The NAE worked with the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School to bring scientists and evangelical Christian leaders together to mitigate climate change.[2]

The two groups agreed that the Earth "is seriously imperiled by human behavior," and that this was affecting the "poorest of the poor, well over a billion people, who have little chance to improve their lives". The initiative stated that saving the creation required nothing short of a new moral awakening "clearly articulated in Scripture and supported by science”.[3][4]

At this time Richard Cizik was the vice-president for governmental affairs at the NAE and an advocate of creation care.[5][6] At this time, not all NAE members were in agreement with the ECI initiative and its statements calling for protecting the earth from global warming, pollution and extinctions.

The ECI was initially signed by 86 evangelical leaders and the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges.[7][8][9] The number of signatories had risen to over 100 by December 2007,[10] and as of July 2011 over 220 evangelical leaders (including the NAE) had signed the call to action.[11] David P. Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University, helped draft the document.[12]


The initiative was initially well received, with endorsements from public figures including Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton and Mike Huckabee. It appeared that pressure from voters could make a change in government policies.[13]

In 2009, the Tea Party movement was founded in Chicago. This was a conservative movement within the Republican party which had several beliefs, including reduced government spending. They stated that they opposed the teaching of ‘global warming theory’ in schools and that the ‘regulation of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere should be left to God and not government’.[14] As the Tea Party became more popular, climate skepticism and hostility towards climate science and policies became more prevalent in the US.[15]


The US is the only developed country where religious background can be linked to belief in environmentalism.[16] These differing religious views on climate and creation care can be seen as part of the larger Global warming controversy and political, social and economic Culture war in the 2020s.

The NEA continues to call on its members to act against climate change.[17][18] Richard Cizik left the NEA and launched the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.[19]

Other Christian organisations continue to work in the area of global warming, including A Rocha and Operation Noah.

See also


  1. ^ Brian Steensland, Philip Goff, The New Evangelical Social Engagement, Oxford University Press USA, USA, 2014, p. 163
  2. ^ "An Urgent Call to Action: Scientists and Evangelicals Unite to Protect Creation" (PDF). PBS. January 17, 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "ABC news". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2021-02-14. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  4. ^ Sandell, Clayton; Blakemore, Bill (January 17, 2007). "Science + Religion = New Alliance to Save the Planet". ABC News. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "National Association of Evangelicals Executive Leaders". Archived from the original on 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  6. ^ Cizik Matters: An interview with green evangelical leader Richard Cizik Archived 2008-10-12 at the Wayback Machine, by Amanda Griscom Little, Grist Magazine, October 5, 2005]
  7. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (February 8, 2006). "Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  8. ^ Bradley Hagerty, Barbara (February 8, 2006). "Evangelical Leaders Urge Action on Climate Change". NPR. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Only Boy Who Could Ever Teach Me". Grist. February 8, 2006. Archived from the original on December 17, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  10. ^ Cole, Ethan (December 4, 2007). "Christian Agencies Actively Engage in Climate Change". Christian Post. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  11. ^ "Signatories to Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action". Evangelical Climate Initiative. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011.
  12. ^ Lampman, Jane (March 12, 2008). "Southern Baptist leaders urge climate change action". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  13. ^ "New Republic website, Whatever Happened to the Evangelical-Environmental Alliance?". The New Republic. Archived from the original on 2023-07-25. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  14. ^ Hickman, Leo (31 August 2010). "Guardian newspaper website". Archived from the original on 2023-05-30. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  15. ^ Ronan, Marisa (December 2017). "MDPI Journals website". Humanities. 6 (4): 92. doi:10.3390/h6040092.
  16. ^ "The Conversation website". 9 September 2020. Archived from the original on 2023-06-04. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  17. ^ "Washington Post website". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2022-12-20. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  18. ^ Budryk, Zack (30 August 2022). "The Hill website". The Hill. Archived from the original on 2023-07-25. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  19. ^ "Christian Post website". 24 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2023-07-25. Retrieved 2023-07-25.