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General launches new International Positional Statement

General launches new International Positional Statement

General launches new International Positional Statement

18 October 2021

General Brian Peddle launches the new International Positional Statement, ‘Caring for the Environment’, calling on all Salvationists to make adjustments to help bring about environmental sustainability.

The Salvation Army’s new International Positional Statement, ‘Caring for the Environment’, sets out a strongly worded description of the many ways God’s creation has suffered catastrophic damage from human actions.

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The statement, released by the Army’s world leader, General Brian Peddle, pledges to foster a “culture of sustainability” and calls for immediate action to address and combat “environmental degradation”.

The statement lists environmental degradation as one of the most pressing issues facing the world: “Its effects fall disproportionally on the most vulnerable, particularly in terms of health, livelihood, shelter and the opportunity to make choices. The very survival of humanity depends on the health of the whole ecosystem.”

The statement commits the Army to sustainable environmental practices: “In addition to being compelled by the lived experience, The Salvation Army also accepts the scientific evidence that demands action on all levels.”

General Peddle called on all Salvationists and friends to “make adjustments in lifestyle and comforts” and “positively declare your part in the stewardship of the earth”.

“Striking the right balance between our needs and what is sustainable must catch the attention of every Salvationist,” General Peddle said. “Think twice about our ease of travel,” he added, suggesting people should choose to walk or cycle where possible.

He also suggested making intentional choices of sustainable products when shopping and “move thinking” from competing for more to collaborating and sharing.

General Peddle said the COVID-19 pandemic had ironically benefited the environment. “The earth has taken a deep breath,” he said. “Our skies cleared, cities refreshed themselves, and birds sang.”

The statement, which is the Army’s official viewpoint, was drafted by the International Moral and Social Issues Council. The statement’s “Background and Context” section explores the “unprecedented and devastating levels of degradation”, which is believed to lead to the extinction of various animals and plants, pollution, and land destruction.

What the statement terms as “the over-reliance on and excessive use” of carbon-based fuels is highlighted, although it stresses that “environmental degradation” is about more than energy issues indicating it also has an impact on factors such as food and water insecurity, poverty and migration.

The scriptural basis for the position is also laid out in detail.

The statement concludes with a series of suggested practical responses through which the Army “seeks to foster a culture of sustainability with a focus on long-term environmental solutions. These vary from raising awareness of the devastating impact humans are having on God’s earth and striving to enact sound environmental policies to smaller-scale but important efforts such as ‘encouraging Salvationists to consider a vocation in environmental science’.”

All International Positional Statements are available to read in full at salvationarmy.org/isjc/ips

Edited from a report from the International Headquarters Communications Department

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