Reporting on Religion & Climate Change

Activists take part in a protest urging governments to act against climate change and social injustice in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Catastrophic extreme weather events like droughts, floods and wildfires impact communities across the world as leaders continue to grapple with balancing energy needs and the global push for climate action.

Although skepticism persists, a broad swath of faith communities advocate for policy change, fight for climate justice, establish creation care ministries, embrace solar energy, plant gardens and more.

For example, in October 2022, Muslim, Christians, Hindus, and traditional practitioners joined together to protest the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline in Machakos, Kenya — a town about 40 miles from the country’s capital, Nairobi. That same day, 27 clergy and people who identify as Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and interfaith were arrested at the Manhattan headquarters of BlackRock, the largest investment management company in New York. 

Convergences like these, where people of faith are coming together to respond to climate change and demand action based on their religious and spiritual teachings, are increasingly common. 

But religious beliefs can also lead some to have conflicting views.

According to a 2022 Pew Research Center report, most U.S. adults – including a solid majority of Christians and large numbers of people who identify with other religious traditions – consider the Earth sacred and believe God gave humans a duty to care for it.

But the survey also found that the highly religious (those who say they pray each day, regularly attend religious services and consider religion very important in their lives) are far less likely than other U.S. adults to express concern about warming temperatures around the globe.

At the very least, it is clear religion shapes environmental attitudes and practices.

In turn, nature impacts how religious actors believe and behave. A team of researchers at Columbia University’s Climate School confirmed by “analyzing religious affiliation together with a variety of environment and climate change-related indicators at the country level” that religious adherence correlates with how national populations manage resources, produce emissions, and deal with resulting environmental degradation.

And, it matters what kind of faith it is. For example, a 2016 report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that 15% of Americans think global warming is not real because God controls the climate and 14% thought it was a sign of the End Times. 

For these reasons, from grassroots environmental movements to sustainable agriculture, environmental ethics to the theological grounds for climate justice, there is a growing awareness that to address contemporary environmental issues it is necessary to understand the complex, reciprocal relationship between human cultures, religious traditions, and the earth’s living systems.

In this Reporting Guide, we provide helpful background information and research, story ideas, relevant and recent reporting on the subject as well as sources and experts for you to report on the intersections between religion and climate change.

Different Traditions, One Planet

Religion influences numerous lifestyle choices that impact the environment. Childbearing decisions and the use of contraceptives, whether people see climatic change as human-caused, consumption patterns and willingness to take action to abate environmental degradation are all shaped by someone’s religious tradition and outlook. 

In order to understand the relationship between religion and climate change, it may be helpful to understand some of the basic teachings of five religious traditions on the topic of earth care.

Dharma. Good works. The divine path. Divine commandments. Promoting right and forbidding wrong. Grace. Harmony. Oneness. Stewardship. Each of these concepts represent different ways of framing the imperative to work for climate justice. Regardless of religious tradition, each contains different stories of humanity’s relationship with the planet and point toward how the earth is a sacred trust with concurrent human duties towards it. 

Below is a summary of some spiritual sentiments expressed in a diverse range of religious traditions.



It’s important to note that not all people who identify as Baháʼí believe the same thing; in fact, no one adherent can make claims of faith for another. But broadly, Baháʼí teaches a rejection of materialism. Instead, it teaches that the path to oneness is not through wealth, but through moderation and humility. Baháʼís believe that human hearts are inherently intertwined with the world – we affect and are affected by it. We are interdependent and coexistent. God is present in nature and God’s glory is revealed in nature’s diversity. To permit humanity to destroy that creation in the name of materialism is to turn our back on our teachings. 

Reporting on Baháʼí responses to climate change would take these broad beliefs into account, without suggesting that all Baha’is believe the same thing. The teachings of Baháʼí are rooted in the sacred texts called The Kitáb-i-Aqdas written by Baháʼu’lláh, the founder of the religion.

Baháʼís are regularly involved in multi-faith — or interreligious — efforts at addressing climate change or advocating for more action on the part of governments across the world. 

Example Coverage

Religious leaders talk climate action in Israel ahead of COP27

By Rina Bassist, Al-Monitor

November 30, 2022

(Al-Monitor) – Israeli religious leaders gathered today at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP27 next week in Sharm al-Sheikh. Participants included Vatican’s Ambassador to Israel and Cyprus Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Orot Shaul Yeshiva head Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Baha’i Jerusalem representative David Freeman, Druze imam Jaber Mansour and many others. The special event was organized in collaboration with the Israeli nongovernmental organization the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development.

The interfaith conference focused on the role of religious leadership in dealing with climate change, with the goal of empowering religious communities both in Israel and globally to curb climate change and promoting the use of renewable energy. Participants signed a Jerusalem Climate Declaration calling for urgent action to mitigate climate change.

Read more…

Buddhist Traditions

Buddhist traditions (see our Reporting Guide on Buddhism) affirm that life includes suffering, including the adverse impacts of climate change.

But they also point toward a path to the end of suffering. This path includes right action, the imperative to act with moral clarity in the face of injustice, and right speech, the imperative to speak truth. It teaches that all living things are connected and that how we treat other living things has a profound effect on our enlightenment and our karma.

Karma (action that has future consequences) and detachment from the world in order to seek a path to the end of suffering are two concepts to consider when reporting on Buddhist responses to climate change.

Buddhism relies on the teachings of the Buddha. Other Buddhists also follow the teachings and leadership of the Dalai Lama on climate and environmentalism, though he is the leader of only one sect of the tradition. 

The Bodhi tree is often used as a symbol in eco-buddhism; the tree is where the Buddha reached enlightenment. As such, it is a central symbol of Buddhist traditions. 

Example Coverage

The Dalai Lama Offers A Take On Climate Change: ‘Promote Vegetarianism’

By Reena Advani, NPR

November 11, 2020 

(NPR) – The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, is 85, and he wants to warn us of something: We must take care of our planet.”

It’s logical,” he tells NPR’s Morning Edition on a video call from his home in Dharamshala, India.

He just co-authored Our Only Home, a book about climate change. In Buddhism, trees are sacred; they sheltered Buddha during his birth, his enlightenment and his death. In the Himalayas, against whose backdrop the Dalai Lama lives, glaciers are melting. Billions of people in China and India depend on them for water.

One step toward helping to combat climate change, he says, is to stop eating meat. Cattle produce methane, a greenhouse gas and contributor to global warming. It also takes a lot of land to grow food to feed livestock, making meat production a leading cause of deforestation.

“Not only is it a question of a sense of love [of these animals] but itself, you see, very bad for ecology,” he says. “The beef farm, I really feel very uncomfortable. Large number of animal only for food. We should promote vegetarianism as much as we can.”


Christian responses to climate change range across a wide spectrum, often dependent on the tradition being considered.

Roman Catholic Christians are globally guided by Pope Francis’ encyclical (or official letter) “Laudato Si’,” which points to the interconnectedness of all life and the faithful vocation (or role in life) of taking care of the planet and all living things. Protestant denominations determine responses to climate change and the environment through different governing bodies. However, these traditions rely on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the movement of a Holy Spirit and a God that most Christians see as the Creator of everything. There is also a history of Christians following a “social gospel” in the United States – that is, a biblical understanding that says practitioners make the world a better place for all, especially people who are marginalized. 

In reporting on Christianity and climate change, one might also need to pay attention to how certain readings and interpretations of the “Old Testament” (or Hebrew Scriptures, also part of the Christianity’s religious texts) have led to harmful planetary destruction. These interpretations have led some Christians to believe (and act upon) that the earth is temporary and meant for human consumption. This belief is most prevalent in evangelical and more conservative versions of Christianity (though is part of other strands as well). 

Reporting tip: like other religious traditions, there are many different forms of Christianity. The moral authority of the leaders of one stream do not carry the same weight in other streams.

Example Coverage

Wanted: Creation Care Coordinator for Major British Evangelical Church

By Ken Chitwood, Christianity Today

September 16, 2022

Image: Google Maps

(Christianity Today) – The job ad was a little different than the ones normally posted by London’s largest churches. It wasn’t for a pastor, priest, choir director, or organist. Instead, the large evangelical Anglican congregation wanted an environmental project manager.

Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), perhaps best known as the birthplace of the evangelistic Alpha course, has advertised a position for someone who will help “oversee the strategy, planning and execution of HTB’s approach to Creation Care.” The individual will work closely with other lead team members to put an “environmental response at the heart of church life.”

Jobs like this at places like HTB are notable, said Jo Chamberlain, national environment policy officer for the Church of England. Such roles, she said, signal a sea change. Evangelical churches in the UK—and perhaps elsewhere—are embracing the critical importance of creation care and environmental stewardship at the congregational level.

“People are recognizing that we have to get our house in order,” Chamberlain said. “We can’t just talk about taking care of creation without doing the work and changing the way we do things.”

Read more…


There are some climate and environmental organizers, activists, and actors who draw on spirituality to work on climate change issues but do not claim allegiance to any organized religious tradition. Some people may draw on aspects of religion – without seeing themselves as strict adherents – while others may see themselves as acting as a person of good will, or as an ally to people in religious communities. Some members of this group identify as “interfaith practitioners,” which means that they are guided by rituals (or practices) of many different religions and traditions. Still others may identify as a member of a particular religious tradition (e.g., Roman Catholic), but still claim the moniker of “ecospirituality.” 

Featuring a blend of ecology and spirituality, ecospiritualists emphasize the spiritual connection between human beings and the environment and the essential interrelated and interconnected web of all life and matter.

Reporting tip: Some of these actors appropriate indigenous traditions, so reporting on climate change and eco-spirituality needs to pay attention to the origins of the practices being covered.

Example Coverage

Ecospirituality is more than ecology and theology. It calls us to reconnect.

By Barbara Fraser, National Catholic Reporter (Commentary)

February 10, 2022

(National Catholic Reporter) A spirituality closely bound to God’s creation has deep roots in Scripture, where in Genesis God separates light from darkness and water from sky, then creates all plants and creatures of Earth and sea and sees how good it is.

A bee hovers over flowers in front of a crucifix at a cemetery in Santiago, Chile, Feb. 18, 2021. (CNS photo/Ivan Alvarado, Reuters)

The Book of Job, among others, picks up the theme, telling of a God who speaks intimately of the constellations, the many forms water takes, the wisdom of the ibis and the hunger of lions, and the reproductive cycle of deer, bears and mountain goats — but has a rather low opinion of the stork’s common sense.

A couple of millennia later, St. Francis of Assisi added his voice to those who recognize the interconnectedness of all things, despite the pain of his own illness, finding God in — and praising God through — all of creation, including the sun, moon and stars, wind, water, fire and the Earth itself.

So it’s not surprising that Pope Francis, the saint’s namesake, echoes that idea in his own writings, especially his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home” and Querida Amazonia, the apostolic exhortation that grew out of the 2019 synod for the Amazon.

With his emphasis on integral ecology, Francis ties care for God’s creation to our economic, political, social and religious priorities. In a lot of ways, with this pope, ecospirituality has gone mainstream.

The prefix “eco-” before “spirituality” comes from the Greek oikos, meaning home — a reminder that “this house is the only one we have, we’re all together, what happens in Kolkata affects New York, Santiago in Chile, and São Paulo,” Divine Word Fr. Fernando Díaz of Chile told EarthBeat.

Read more…

Hindu Traditions

Hindus generally teach that life is defined by a sense of duty — to families, to communities, and to the Divine. Hindus recognize the earth itself as one of the faces of God. For example, some Hindus begin the day with a prayer of gratitude to the Goddess of all, Mahadevi, for allowing them to walk upon her surface with their feet.

In Hindu traditions there is a belief that all of creation is an aspect of the Divine, all of it is connected. That is why the Vedas teach “Vruksho Rakshathi Rakshithaha,” meaning “the trees protect you if you protect them.” The core teaching of all of the epics (or mythology), including the Ramayana to the Mahabharata, is that adherents must take such responsibility seriously. 

Reporting tip: Some Hindu traditions are rooted in the teachings of the Vedas (their sacred text) and seeking dharma, or right action and belief in the world. Other traditions reject these sacred texts in favor of right action and devotion (puja).

Example Coverage

An ‘old-school Hindu’ takes on the future of climate

By Kevin Douglas Grant, Religion News Service

December 5, 2022

(Religion News Service) – Nearly two decades ago, at the age of 21, Gopal Patel moved into an ashram on the banks of the River Ganges to study the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s foundational Scriptures.

One of just a handful of Indian students at a “very racist” high school in England, he said, Patel, now 39, found comfort in the epic conversation between the sacred text’s warrior prince Arjuna and the god Krishna.

“It made me go into myself and try to discern who I was as a person, my identity and my cultural background,” Patel said. “By the time I finished reading it, I was like, ‘I want to give my life to this.’”

Today Patel lives in Montclair, New Jersey, a short commute from New York City, and travels the world as the founder of Bhumi Global, a faith-based environmental movement rooted in Hindu principles. The organization, named for the Hindu goddess who represents Earth, focuses on the “triple crisis” of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Read more…

Indigenous Spiritualities and Communities

There are indigenous communities around the world, many of whom connect their religious and spiritual traditions, rituals, and teachings to the planet as a whole and to the specific regions in which they live.

In many modern nations (though not all), indigenous communities have been forced from their original lands or to give up their practices. At the same time, indigenous communities from around the world are often depicted as having romanticized relationships to the planet, while leading lives of subsistence.

They are often lumped together across indigenous identities and nations; when reporting on indigenous spiritual communities, identify communities as they want to be identified. 

Example Coverage

Across the US, Native Americans are fighting to preserve sacred land

By Alejandra Molina and Emily McFarlan Miller, Religion News Service

December 5, 2022

(RNS) – In what they call a “holy war” to save their sacred site in Arizona known as Oak Flat, the Apache people have gathered in prayer with other Native American tribes, even those they’ve historically been pitted against, such as the Akimel O’odham, or River People, of the southwestern United States.

Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management/Creative Commons

They’ve formed a coalition of Native peoples named Apache Stronghold and bonded with Christians and other religious leaders as they seek to stop the land from being transferred to Resolution Copper, a company owned by the British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.

Now, at a three-day meeting beginning Wednesday (Nov. 30), Apache Stronghold is hoping to unite its cause with other similar Native American groups that are working to preserve land they deem sacred.

The Sacred Sites Summit in Tucson, Arizona, will offer sessions on Native religion and spirituality, the history of colonization and capitalism, and the destruction mining wreaks on a landscape. The summit will also highlight the efforts tribes are making to protect areas from the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to Quechan Indian Pass in California.

Read more…


Among Muslims, there is a clear call for action to protect the environment and to fight against climate change.

The Quran (Islam’s principle holy text) teaches adherents that God created humanity from earth and settled humans on the planet in order to cultivate the earth. It tells us that we are appointed as the guardians upon the earth, and we are responsible for it.

The Quran also calls adherents to recognize that God established the natural world in a life-sustaining balance which humans should both respect and protect. The Quran furthermore recognizes that people are responsible for all forms of human wrongdoing, including effects on land, sea and air.

To integrate such values into their personal lives, more and more Muslims try to change their own personal consumption habits to walk more lightly on earth. 

Reporting tip: Many counties that are oil-rich are also heavily Muslim. Avoid assuming that all Muslims are the same and have similar thoughts on oil; avoid language and depictions of Muslims that play into global stereotypes around terrorism or “oil sheikhs.” 

Example Coverage

Can Indonesia’s Muslim leaders help combat climate change?

By Michael Taylor, Reuters

August 17, 2022

(Reuters) – From packed mosques during Friday prayers to the classrooms of thousands of Islamic boarding schools, Indonesia’s Muslim leaders have been urged to use their sermons and influence to boost conservation efforts and win over climate change sceptics.

Activists take part in a protest urging governments to act against climate change and social injustice in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

The country’s top Muslim representatives met last month at Southeast Asia’s biggest mosque, the Istiqlal in the capital Jakarta, to discuss ways to raise awareness about global warming and develop climate solutions linked to Islamic teachings.

The leaders also established a forum – the Muslim Congress for a Sustainable Indonesia – and called for community donations, including alms, to be used to help fund such efforts.

Green campaigners say Muslim leaders and imams can play a key role in fostering greater understanding and action on climate change – and also work with governments to focus on sustainability, not just economic development, in policy.

“Imams or religious leaders are really respected and highly listened to in Indonesia – they can have a big impact on both government policy and citizen action,” said Jeri Asmoro, Indonesia digital campaigner at climate activist group

“Imams could affect a lot of social change … seeding awareness of environmentally-friendly life and propelling the climate movement at the grassroots level,” he added.

Read more…



The Torah (the core religious teachings of Judaism) teaches adherents that the connection to the earth is sacred. For example, the Torah includes begins with a story of how humanity is first shaped from the earth itself by God’s hand. The earliest prophets were shepherds and farmers who understood deeply their responsibility to care for the divine gift of creation. They remembered that the punishment for humanity’s early sins was a Great Flood. God promised Noah he would never punish humanity that way again.

But God never promised to stop humans from doing it to ourselves. That’s up to humanity, says Judaism.

Jews are moved by the teachings of the Torah and the Talmud, see themselves as the chosen people of God, and have many teachings and festivals that rely on the earth and human connection to it. These festivals include Sukkot (or a celebration of harvest) and Tu BiShvat (celebration of the trees and is often viewed as a Jewish Earth day.) Each of these holidays are celebrated in different ways by different strands of Judaism.

One thing to note (and avoid) is the anti-semitic trope of how Jews control the world, financial systems and global power. Nuance your reporting to avoid unintentionally hitting this pitfall, especially in relationship to climate finance.

Example Coverage

3 rabbis arrested at climate change protest outside Wall Street giant BlackRock

By Julia Gergely, The Times of Israel

October 20, 2021

(The Times of Israel) – Three rabbis and six Jewish teenagers were among those arrested on Monday at a climate protest at the Manhattan headquarters of BlackRock, the largest investment management company in New York.

Israelis attend a rally calling to stop the use with Fossil fuel, at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, December 18, 2020. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

The demonstration, organized by the Jewish Youth Climate Movement with support from the interfaith organization GreenFaith, demanded the firm stop its investments in and cut ties with companies that fund the fossil fuel industry, which include Enbridge, Inc., Formosa Plastics, and Shell.

Rabbis Rachel Timoner and Stephanie Kolin of Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, vice president of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, were among those arrested.

“Judaism’s highest priority is saving lives,” said Timoner in a statement. “The Jewish youth who are leading us today understand that we are in a life or death moment, that we must divest from fossil fuels now in order to save lives.”

The Jewish Youth Climate Movement, founded by the Jewish environmental group Hazon in 2019, is a Gen Z-led movement dedicated to combating climate change and environmental injustice from a Jewish lens.

Story Ideas

According to journalist Meera Subramanian and scholar Stephen Prothero of the Religion & the Environment Story Project (RESP), “the climate crisis is the story of the century” and “[r]eligions are the story-makers of all time.” Together, the intersections between religion and climate change provide a storyline journalists cannot neglect to cover.

In this section, we provide a few story ideas for journalists to pursue in their coverage as well as offer examples of coverage on a range of topics related to religion and climate change.

Climate finance and divestment — Major religious organizations are announcing their divestment from fossil fuels. Simply put, divestment means liquidating stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are seen to contribute to the climate crisis. This involves freezing new investments in fossil fuel companies and divesting from direct ownership or sponsorship of the fossil fuel industry. Since 2013, more than 130 religious institutions with assets of over US $24 billion have committed to full or partial fossil fuel divestment. The list of divested institutions include dioceses of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Islamic Society of North America, which pronounced a fatwa (legal opinion) on fossil fuel divestment — the first time that a fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) council in the world has taken such a position.

Nonetheless, campaigners are calling for religious communities across the board to do more to lessen their impact on climate change. The World Council of Churches, Operation Noah, Dayenu, the Laudato Si’ Movement, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith are just a few of the groups calling for further divestment. Groups like GreenFaith are also urging religious communities to go even further and “align faith-based finances with a sustainable future” through active, sustainable investments.

Interfaith action on the rainforest, fossil fuel non-proliferation — Although there are efforts by individual religious traditions looking to change their own communities, there has also been an increase in multi-faith or interfaith initiatives related to climate change. For example, the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative launched in June of 2017 at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway. Its partners include GreenFaith, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, the Rainforest Foundation Norway, Religions for Peace, the United Nations Environment Program, the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology and the World Council of Churches.

And, in the lead up to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, a “diverse range of religious and spiritual communities” — including the Pacific Conference of Churches, Soka Gakkai International, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the Latin American and Caribbean Catholic Bishops Council (CELAM) and Aisyiyah, the Women’s Movement of Muhammadiyah, an Indonesian Islamic organization —  around the globe called on governments to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Reporters might investigate how issues related to climate change unite, and potentially divide, religious actors and communities from differing traditions around a common menace.

Global responses to a global issue — While the majority of coverage on religion and climate change issues has focused on organizations and institutions in Europe and North America, shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels, and an increase in nature-related disasters are global in scope and more likely to negatively impact communities in the Global South.

Reporters would do well to cover how faith actors in places like Kenya and Nigeria, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Brazil and Jamaica are responding to climate change’s unprecedented impact, adapting to the changes they are already seeing on the ground, and resisting multi-national company’s and foreign nation’s interest in mining their natural resources.

Everyday efforts and grassroots organizers — With that said, reporters would be wise to focus on grassroots efforts in their own context as well. How do you see people of faith showing up in your region for climate justice or organizing to urge action on climate change? What are faith actors’ opinions on local issues related to power plants, waste disposal or renewable energy initiatives? How are local religious communities altering their practices, procedures or places of worship on the frontlines of climate frontiers?

From solar panels on mosque rooftops to evangelical congregations hiring “Creation Care coordinator,” numerous churches, synagogues and temples are taking practical steps to address climate change. How might your reporting better shine a light on these local efforts? 


There are numerous resources to turn to, but this list of introductory texts, newsletters, reports and books is a great place to get started (this list was originally compiled by the Religion and Environment Story Project and is also available HERE).

Introductions and Overviews

Covering the Environment/Climate Beat

Statistics and Reports

Books, Webinars, Events and Newsletters to Follow

Related Stories, Commentary, and Analysis

2020 and earlier

National Sources

  • Susana B. Adamo

    Susana B. Adamo is a research scientist at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network and an adjunct professor at Columbia university. Her areas of expertise include environmental migration. Adamo is one of the authors of the “Religious Affiliation and Environmental Challenges in the 21st Century” article that appeared in the Journal of Religion and Demography.

  • Huda Alkaff

    Huda Alkaff is the founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, an environmental justice group. She also is the coordinator of the Wisconsin Faith and Solar Initiative.

  • Adrian Bardon

    Adrian Bardon is a philosophy professor at Wake Forest University. He wrote the book The Truth About Denial: Bias and Self-Deception in Science, Politics, and Religion.

  • Amanda J. Baugh

    Amanda J. Baugh is an associate professor at California State University Northridge, where she specializes in the study of climate change, the environment and American religion, with attention to questions of race, ethnicity and class. She is the author of God and the Green Divide: Religious Environmentalism in Black and White.


  • E. Calvin Beisner

    E. Calvin Beisner is founder and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which describes itself as “committed to bringing a balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.” He is more supportive of President Donald Trump’s approach to environmental issues than other faith leaders and has been critical of the value of the Paris climate agreement. The media coordinator for the Cornwall Alliance is Megan Kinard.

  • Brooks Berndt

    The Rev. Brooks Berndt serves as the minister for environmental justice in the United Church of Christ.

  • Evan Berry

    Evan Berry is an assistant professor of environmental humanities in the School of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. His research examines the way religious ideas and organizations are mobilized in response to climate change and other global environmental challenges.

  • Blessed Tomorrow

    Blessed Tomorrow is a coalition of diverse religious partners working to advance climate solutions.

  • Robert Bullard

    Robert Bullard is described as the father of environmental justice and is a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University. He is the author of several books, including Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina and The Wrong Complexion for Protection.

  • Cassandra Carmichael

    Cassandra Carmichael is the executive director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. Previously, she served as director of the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Programs and has written numerous articles on faith and the environment.

  • Ambrose Carroll

    The Rev. Ambrose Carroll is co-founder of Green the Church and pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road in Berkeley, Calif.

  • Saffet Abid Catovic

    Saffet Abid Catovic is a Muslim environmental leader. He co-founded Green Muslims of New Jersey and helped launch the Islamic Society of North America’s Green Masjid Task Force. In 2018, he shared his efforts to offset the carbon footprint of his pilgrimage to Mecca with Sojourners. Imam Catovic serves as Washington office director for the Islamic Society of North America. He earned a master’s in religion and society from Drew University, specializing in religion and the environment.

  • Center for Climate Justice and Faith

    The Center for Climate Justice and Faith is a student-led organization based at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary at California Lutheran University.

  • John Chryssavgis

    The Rev. John Chryssavgis is author of Light Through Darkness: The Orthodox Tradition. He taught theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and serves as theological adviser to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues. Chryssavgis lives in Maine.

  • Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

    The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life concentrates on addressing climate change and encouraging sustainable congregations. Its national partners are the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.

  • Creation Justice Ministries

    Creation Justice Ministries (formerly the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program) works in cooperation with national bodies of Protestant denominations, Orthodox communions, regional faith groups and congregants to protect and restore God’s creation.

  • Ellen F. Davis

    Ellen F. Davis is Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. Davis has been in the vanguard among theologians studying the biblical understanding of care for the land, and she is a sought-after speaker on topics such as the ethics of land use. She is the author of Scripture, Culture and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible.

  • Dayenu

    Dayenu is a multigenerational Jewish movement that aims to confront the climate crisis with spiritual audacity and bold political action.

  • Sharon Delgado

    The Rev. Sharon Delgado leads seminars and workshops on climate change, environmental justice and the relationship between spirituality and social action. She is an ordained United Methodist minister and founded the Climate Justice Action Network, which brings together Methodists interested in environmental activism.

  • Earth Quaker Action Team

    Earth Quaker Action Team, EQAT (pronounced “equate”), is a grassroots, nonviolent action group including Quakers and people of diverse beliefs, who join with millions of people around the world fighting for a just and sustainable economy. Contact is Eileen Flanagan, Interim Campaign Director.

  • Evangelical Environmental Network

    The Evangelical Environmental Network is a Christian ministry dedicated to mobilizing people to care for God’s creation. The network provides resources for congregations and advocates for environmentally friendly policies.

  • Faith in Place

    Faith in Place works with religious and spiritual leaders in Illinois on issues of environmental sustainability. It has offices in Chicago, Champaign and Waukegan, Ill.

  • David Fisher

    David Fisher is the director of Interfaith Appalachia, a nonprofit, interfaith organization that leads service-learning trips to the Appalachian region. He holds degrees in Jewish studies and environmental studies and has researched the intersection of religion, peacemaking and environmental activism.

  • Jody Freeman

    Jody Freeman is the Archibald Cox Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a leading expert of administrative and environmental law. She served as a counselor for energy and climate change in the Obama administration.

  • God’s Renewed Creation

    God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action is a project of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church that examines the interconnectedness of poverty, violence and environmental degradation. The project has worked toward numerous sustainability projects, including the certification of LEED Methodist offices, and provides resources, study guides and materials. Contact through the website.

  • Robert “Bud” Grant

    The Rev. Robert “Bud” Grant is an environmental theology professor and Catholic priest at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

  • Green the Church

    Green the Church works to increase environmental activism within predominantly African-American faith communities.

  • Green Muslims

    Green Muslims seeks to inspire Muslims to educate themselves about the environment and be stewards of the earth. It works with mosques and Muslim student associations across the U.S.

  • David Haberman

    David Haberman is a professor of religious studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. He teaches on the subject of religion and ecology, particularly in regards to South Asian religions. His books include River of Love in an Age of Pollution: The Yamuna River of Northern India and Understanding Climate Change Through Religious Lifeworlds.

  • Neekta Hamidi

    Neekta Hamidi is a Muslim writer and environmentalist. She runs a blog called “Green Is Simple,” which offers tips on sustainable living. Contact her with the form on her website.

  • Katharine Hayhoe

    Katharine Hayhoe is a professor of political science and co-director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is also the co-author of A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. Hayhoe is an expert on Christian responses to global warming, and she works to reconcile science and faith in Christian communities.

  • Hazon

    Hazon is an organization promoting healthy Jewish communities in a variety of ways, including outdoor challenge and food programs. Based in New York, Hazon has developed bike and hike programs, and its food wing promotes community-supported agriculture in 18 communities, up from 10 in 2007. Other food programs include a curriculum, an annual conference and a blog. Nigel Savage is president.

  • Susan Hendershot

    Susan Hendershot is the president of Interfaith Power & Light and ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

  • Mitch Hescox

    The Rev. Mitch Hescox is president and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. He is also the co-author of Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment.

  • Manja Holland

    Manja Holland is a habitat and education manager with the National Wildlife Federation and helps coordinate the organization’s Sacred Grounds program.

  • Interfaith Power & Light

    Interfaith Power & Light works to mobilize faith communities in response to global warming. The organization has affiliates in more than 35 states and is based in San Francisco. Susan Stephenson is executive director.

  • Anna Jane Joyner

    Anna Jane Joyner serves as campaign coordinator for the Western North Carolina Alliance, which works to protect the state’s natural resources. She’s also co-host of No Place Like Home, a podcast on climate change. Joyner’s father is an evangelical Christian minister and she’s spoken often about what it’s like to reject her family’s environmental beliefs. She’s now a practicing Episcopalian.

  • Wendy Janzen

    Wendy Janzen leads Burning Bush Forest Church, a faith community that worships outside. She is an ordained Mennonite pastor.

  • Philip Jenkins

    Philip Jenkins is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. He also is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and serves as co-director for the institute’s Initiative on Historical Studies of Religion. He is the author of Climate, Catastrophe and Faith: How Changes in Climate Drive Religious Upheaval and The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, which includes extensive discussion of the global impact of Pentecostalism.

  • Willis Jenkins

    Willis Jenkins is a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. He works at the intersection of environmental and religious ethics.

  • Julian Kunnie

    Julian Kunnie is a religious studies professor at the University of Arizona. He launched the Nyakweri Ecological Restoration and Preservation Project, which looks at how climate change affects the Nyakweri forest. Kunnie teaches courses on Indigenous religions, globalization and the environment.

  • Khalid Latif

    Imam Khalid Latif is executive director of the Islamic Center at New York University, where he also serves as a chaplain. He is also the co-founder of Honest Chops, New York City’s first organic, halal butcher shop.

  • LDS Earth Stewardship

    LDS Earth Stewardship is a non-profit organization united by the belief that earth stewardship is a gospel principle and gathered for the purpose of exploring and promoting that principle. The group draws on the community and theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but does not have an official affiliation with the Church.

  • Victoria Loorz

    Victoria Loorz is pastor of the Church of the Wild in Oak View, Calif., a faith community that meets in the wilderness and focuses on encountering God through nature.

  • Jane Lubchenco

    Jane Lubchenco is an environmental science and marine ecology professor at Oregon State University in Corvallis. She served as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2009 to 2013. Additionally, Lubchenco has been the scientific co-chair for many conferences on faith-based environmental activism hosted by Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

  • Lutherans Restoring Creation

    Lutherans Restoring Creation is a grassroots movement of Lutherans, driven by laity, pastors, lay professionals, synodical leadership, and others who hold positions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and its institutions. They advocate for climate justice, build community around creation care and provide worship, education and devotional resources related to the issue of climate change.

  • Sarah Macias

    Sarah Macias is co-director of the Green Seminary Initiative, which helps train seminary students on creation care. She also serves as an Alliance of Baptists representative on the board of Creation Justice Ministries.

  • Mennonite Creation Care Network

    The Mennonite Creation Care Network encourages the congregations in the Mennonite Church USA and the Mennonite Church Canada to engage in care of the environment and serves as a network for Mennonites engaged in that work. Jennifer Schrock heads the network, which is based in Wolf Lake, Ind.

  • Beth Rose Middleton Manning

    Beth Rose Middleton Manning is a professor of Native American studies at the University of California, Davis. She can discuss rural environmental justice and Indigenous analyses of climate change.

  • National Religious Partnership for the Environment

    The National Religious Partnership for the Environment is an alliance of major faith groups and denominations across the spectrum of Jewish and Christian communities and organizations in the United States. Its four founding partners are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Environmental Network, Creation Justice Ministries and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.

  • Lisa Sideris

    Lisa Sideris is an associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her research interests include religion and nature; environmental and animal ethics; science and religion; evolution controversies; religion and bioethic; and environmental history and literature. She wrote Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology and Natural Selection, which looks at Christian environmental ethics and its relationship to Darwinian theory.

  • Nathan Stucky

    Nathan Stucky is the director of the Farminary Project at Princeton Theological Seminary, which blends seminary coursework with hands-on training in sustainable agriculture.

  • One Earth Sangha

    One Earth Sangha’s mission is “to support humanity in a transformative response to ecological crises based on the insights and practices of the Buddhist tradition.” They offer a Virtual EcoDharma Center, with training, resources, and courses to learn more about what people can do to address the ecological crisis. Kristin Baker is the co-founder and director.

  • Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz is executive director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. He also is a rabbi and the author of To Till and to Tend: A Guide for Jewish Environmental Study and Action.

  • Sarah McFarland Taylor

    Sarah McFarland Taylor is an associate professor of religion at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is the author of Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology, about the growing number and strength of environmentally activist Roman Catholic nuns. She is at work on Green Convergence: Religion, Environment and Popular Culture and has also written about creation spirituality; the Gaian, or Earth-based, Mass; the idea of the eco-church; and the general “greening” of religion in America. She teaches several courses on religion and ecology.

  • Peter J. Thuesen

    Peter J. Thuesen is professor of religious studies and adjunct professor of American studies at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, co-editor of Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation and director of humanities research in the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture. He is the author of Tornado God: American Religion and Violent Weather. 

  • Aradhna Tripati

    Aradhna Tripati is a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at University of California, Los Angeles, as well as director of the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science. Her areas of expertise include climate change, environmental justice and paleoclimatology.

  • Mary Evelyn Tucker

    Mary Evelyn Tucker is a senior lecturer and research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Divinity School and department of religious studies. She also directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology with her husband, John Grim.

  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement

    The United Methodist Creation Justice Movement connects and supports groups within the United Methodist Church and beyond for the work of creation care, justice, and regeneration.

  • Robin Globus Veldman

    Robin Globus Veldman is a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University. She studies the relationship between religion and the environment, with a focus on American evangelicalism.

  • Pat Watkins

    The Rev. Pat Watkins is the executive director of Caretakers of God’s Creation, a grassroots ministry that encourages environmental activism among Methodists. He previously served as a missionary tasked with creation care for the United Methodist Council of Bishops.

  • Katharine Wilkinson

    Katharine Wilkinson is a writer, speaker and climate activist who studies the intersection between environmental stewardship and personal faith. She is the author of Between God and Green: How Evangelicals are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change.

  • Emily Wirzba

    Emily Wirzba is a legislative representative on sustainable energy and the environment with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a nonpartisan, Quaker organization.

  • Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology

    The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology wants to establish religion and ecology as an area of study and research in universities, colleges, seminaries and other religiously affiliated institutions. The forum arose out of a series of conferences on the world’s religions and ecology hosted by the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions.

  • Jessica Zimmerle

    Jessica Zimmerle is the program and outreach director for Earth Ministry, an environmental advocacy organization in Seattle. She helps lead Earth Ministry’s Greening Congregations program.

International Sources

  • Iyad Abumoghli

    Iyad Abumoghli is director of the United Nations Environment Programme Faith for Earth Initiative and worked as a senior policy adviser on environment. His expertise focuses on strategic planning, sustainable development, natural resources management, knowledge and innovation, and interfaith collaboration.

  • Alliance of Religions and Conservation

    The Alliance of Religions and Conservation is an international secular organization that works to help religious bodies develop environmental stewardship programs. It’s based in Bath, England.

  • Odeh Al-Jayyousi

    Odeh Al-Jayyousi is head of technology and innovation management at Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. His is the author of Islam and Sustainable Development and a member of the United Nations Global Scientific Advisory Panel.

  • A Rocha

    A Rocha is an international Christian organization working to care for the environment. The organization has projects in many countries around the world. The organization’s U.S. office is in Fredericksburg, Texas.

    Contact: +44 (0)300 770 1346.
  • Zainal Abidin Bagir

    Zainal Abidin Bagir directs the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia. He researches religious life in Indonesia, the philosophy of religion and religion and science. He has written on Islam and the environment.

  • The Bhumi Project

    The Bhumi Project seeks to rally Hindus worldwide in support of the environment. The organization is overseen by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in partnership with GreenFaith.

  • Elizabeth Bomberg

    Elizabeth Bomberg is a professor of environmental politics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She has studied faith-based activism around climate change and recently published a research study on Christian environmentalists.

  • Catholic Climate Covenant

    Catholic Climate Covenant is an umbrella environmental and climate change advocacy organization that includes multiple Catholic organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It organizes public letters to policymakers on environmental topics and provides training on lobbying.

  • EcoSikh

    EcoSikh educates Sikhs around the world about environmental concerns, encouraging reverence for all creation. Ravneet Pal Singh is the project manager.

  • Faith for Climate Network

    The Faith for Climate Network exists to encourage, inspire and equip faith communities in their work on the crisis of climate change – the biggest and most urgent challenge facing humanity. It is based in the United Kingdom and involves lay people and activists, to bishops, priests, rabbis, imams, CEOs and professionals working in faith-based NGOs.

  • Nana Firman

    Nana Firman is Senior Ambassador for GreenFaith, an interfaith organization that promotes environmental stewardship. She previously worked with the World Wildlife Fund in Indonesia.

  • Franciscan Action Network

    The Franciscan Action Network is a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots network of Franciscan clergy and “Franciscan-hearted” laypeople who focus on peacemaking, climate care, social justice and poverty, among other issues. Patrick Carolan is executive director.

    Contact: 202-527-7575.
  • Melanie Gish

    Melanie Gish obtained her Ph.D. in American studies from Heidelberg University and is the author of God’s Wounded World: American Evangelicals and the Challenge of Environmentalism.

  • Global Catholic Climate Movement

    Global Catholic Climate Movement is an international organization that helps coordinate the work of more than 650 smaller Catholic groups and congregations concerned about the environment and climate change. They describe Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, as their founding document.

  • GreenFaith

    GreenFaith is an interfaith coalition based in New Jersey that works with houses of worship, religious schools and people of all faiths to help them become better environmental stewards. The Rev. Fletcher Harper is executive director.

  • Rosemary Hancock

    Rosemary Hancock is a research associate with the Religion and Global Ethics program at the University of Notre Dame Australia, where she studies religion and social justice, with an emphasis on Islam. She is the author of Islamic Environmentalism: Activism in the United States and Great Britain.

  • Tomás Insua

    Tomás Insua is the co-founder and executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement. Insua grew up in Argentina and now lives in Rome. He can be contacted through Reba Elliott, the organization’s communications director.

  • Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences

    The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences is an international organization that highlights a Muslim perspective on environmental issues. It is based in Birmingham, England. Fazlun Khalid is founder and director.

  • Samira Kanji

    Samira Kanji is president of Noor Cultural Centre, a Muslim organization in Toronto. In 2018, Noor hosted an interfaith Ramadan event on food justice.

  • Fazlun Khalid

    Fazlun Khalid is the founder of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, which seeks to increase environmental activism within the global Muslim community.

  • Laudato Si Movement

    The Laudato Si Movement is a communion of global Catholics working to inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for the environment and achieve climate and ecological justice.

  • Gregor Leckebusch

    Gregor Leckebusch is a meteorology and climatology professor at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. He is a leading expert on meteorological and climatological extreme events.

  • Karri Munn-Venn

    Karri Munn-Venn is a senior policy analyst at Citizens for Public Justice. Inspired by faith, the progressive Canadian organization fights for environmental justice issues, including climate justice.

  • Muaz Nasir

    Muaz Nasir is a Muslim Canadian environmentalist who runs Khaleafa, an organization that works to get more Muslims involved in environmental activism. Through its Green Khutbah campaign, Khaleafa encourages Muslim leaders to speak to their congregations about climate change. Contact Nasir with a form on his website.

  • Nós na Criação

    Nós na Criação (We in Creation) is a Christian youth movement in Brazil focused on collaborating with the local church and indigenous communities in the experience of faith in the relationship with the Creation of God.

  • John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan

    Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria. He took part in a 2018 conference on religion and the environment hosted by Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

  • Operation Noah

    Operation Noah is a Christian charity working with Christian churches and organizations to inspire action on the climate crisis, particularly related to fossil fuel divestment. The press contact is Cameron Conant.

  • Pioneers of Change

    Pioneers of Change is a non-profit and non-profit association with a focus on education for sustainable development based on secular philosophy and principles, based in Germany.

  • David Rosen

    Rabbi David Rosen is Special Advisor to the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi. Previously, he served as the American Jewish Committee’s international director of interreligious affairs and was the rabbi of the largest Orthodox Jewish congregation in South Africa and chief rabbi of Ireland. In addition to interreligious representation and education, his work involves mediation and peace building. He is heavily involved in multireligious engagement on ecological issues.

  • Bastiaan Rutjens

    Bastiaan Rutjens is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Amsterdam. He studies what leads to distrust in science. 

  • Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

    Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany. He has taken part in numerous international gatherings on climate change, including a 2018 conference with faith leaders.

  • Sunita Viswanath

    Sunita Viswanath is co-founder and board member of Hindus for Human Rights, Women for Afghan Women and Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus.

  • Erin Wilson

    Erin Wilson is director of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The center explores the contentious role of religion in the public sphere in contemporary Western and global society and engages in research that is particularly focused on the intersection of religion with Western culture, politics and society.

  • Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

    Young Evangelicals for Climate Action mobilizes evangelical Christians on climate change and sustainability. This organization grew out of a retreat hosted by the Evangelical Environmental Network.

  • Yu Yang

    Yu Yang co-authored a 2018 study on the relationship between religious beliefs and environmental behaviors in China. Yu works in the department of public administration at Southeast University in Nanjing, China.

  • Salman Zafar

    Salman Zafar is the editor-in-chief of EcoMENA, a sustainability advocacy group that has written about food waste during Ramadan.

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abby mohaupt and ReligionLink Editor, Ken Chitwood. 

This Reporting Guide was developed with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation via the Luce-American Academy of Religion Advancing Public Scholarship Grant program and support from GreenFaith International.