As of January 2021, I will be leaving the position of National Organizer and Spokesperson at YECA.
YECA is a youth-led organization, and maintaining young leadership is not only critical for the integrity of YECA’s mission, but necessary for the vibrancy and efficacy of its programming. After 4 years in this role, I have officially aged out of our target audience (having turned 31 in June). Thankfully, new leadership is aging in every day.
The climate crisis is the greatest economic, public health, and existential threat of our time. However, if approached with respect for science and expert opinion, clear-eyed leadership, and creative vision, it can become our greatest opportunity. The recently released report from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis does exactly this. In so doing, it provides a blueprint for a future marked not by loss, suffering, and despair, but by hope, justice, and full flourishing for all.
In this uncertain time, our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic - from those who are ill or caring for loved ones, to those working on the frontlines in our communities, to those who are now without jobs or means to provide for their families. During these unprecedented and stressful times, these truths do not change: our ultimate hope is in the Resurrected Christ, his kingdom of justice and peace continue to break in all around us, and the evidence is everywhere once we have the eyes to see.
Over a dozen young evangelicals gathered outside the National Prayer Breakfast today to call on church leaders to act urgently to address the climate crisis. Organized by Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), the demonstration highlighted an open letter, published in Religion News Service, written by 12 prominent young evangelicals and signed by hundreds more calling on National Prayer Breakfast attendees to include the climate crisis in their prayers and to turn their prayers into action when they return home.
Today, President Trump sent official confirmation to the U.N. Secretary-General of his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement includes virtually every nation in the world and is the first comprehensive roadmap for how the nations of the world will work together to mitigate and adapt to climate change. With the communication sent today, the U.S. will officially withdraw from the agreement on November 4, 2020.
Our friends at A Rocha recently released the following statement about a fatal car accident involving A Rocha international staff.
** Press statement: A Rocha International staff in fatal accident in South Africa
Today, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Market Choice Act, an ambitious plan to incentivize a free-market transition toward clean, renewable energy. The bill will significantly drive down greenhouse gas emissions, direct most of the revenue raised toward much-needed infrastructure investment, and ensure that low-income households are protected from related energy price increases.
On Friday, September 20, people from all corners of the world will join together for the largest climate demonstration in human history. This will be the start of a movement that will emphasize the importance of climate action throughout 2020 and beyond. Christians must play a critical role in the movement, providing the moral leadership to call for bold action in addressing the climate crisis. We have an opportunity to act on our Biblical values and join an international network demanding climate justice for all.
"I wish the announcement today that the Trump Administration will roll back crucial regulations curbing methane emissions came as a surprise. Instead, it is just the latest reminder that this administration has no interest in defending vulnerable populations, protecting God's creation, or safeguarding our generation's future. We'll spare a moment to lament this latest act of craven self-interest, and then we'll get back to work."
The Green New Deal has captured the imagination of the country and has catapulted climate change to a top 2020 election issue. It is the first time that our lawmakers have accurately captured the scale and scope of the climate crisis and offered a strong framework to both address its felt effects and to eradicate its root causes. As Christians, we recognize the biblical principles that are embedded in the Green New Deal’s many aspirations, including justice (Micah 6:8, Amos 5:24, Isaiah 1:17), neighbor-love (Matthew 22:34-40), and meaningful protection of the earth (Genesis 2:15). These are principles that Y.E.C.A. believes must be present in any future climate policy, and they are values that Christians and all people of good will can and must affirm.
This reflection was written by Christine Seibert, a Climate Leadership Fellow '17-'18, and a current member of our Steering Committee.
Today the Trump Administration finalized their new rule set to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP was the first significant attempt made by the federal government to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants- a leading source of carbon pollution. The new rule, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE), would allow states to ease pollution rules and stop any progress being made under the CPP which was designed to reduce emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. ACE would, at most, reduce emissions by only 1.5%.
The Honorable Tim Walz
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Dear Governor Walz,
Melody Zhang, Steering Committee Co-Chair, will appear before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis today! This hearing is entitled "Generation Climate: Young Leaders Urge Climate Action Now" and you can learn more here. Below is her testimony!
On March 18th Melody Zhang and Tori Goebel spoke out at the EPA public hearing in D.C. on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). Mercury is a threat to our most vulnerable neighbors and MATS has saved more than 11,000 lives per year since its implementation. Melody and Tori both offered testimony about how our faith compels us steward creation, protect life, and to advocate for alternatives to fossil fuels. Check out their testimonies below to learn more!
Today, thousands of children across the world walked out of classrooms and demonstrated in the streets for stronger action from their governments to address climate change
Today, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to permanently head the agency. Wheeler had been serving as Acting Administrator since former head Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018.
This reflection was written by Christine Seibert, a Climate Leadership Fellow '17-'18, and a current member of our Steering Committee.
Yesterday, President Trump nominated Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wheeler has been serving as Acting Administrator since former head Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018.
Happy New Year! As you look ahead at a brand new year of faithful climate action, we invite you to take a look back at some of what we accomplished together in 2018.
For the first time in a decade, a bipartisan climate bill will be introduced in the U.S. Congress. Sponsored by two Republicans and three Democrats, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would put a price on carbon dioxide of $15/ton in its first year and would raise the price $10/ton every year until emissions targets are met. The revenue raised from this fee would then be returned back to the American people in the form of a dividend—or rebate—check.
Last week, the U.S. government released its most detailed report to date about the impacts that climate change is already visiting on American territory, citizens, and infrastructure. Originally commissioned by President Ronald Reagan and codified into law by Congress in 1990, the National Climate Assessment contains input from no fewer than 13 federal agencies. The 4th National Climate Assessment released last week is the product of the work of 300 scientists who conducted 40 regional workshops in 10 regions across the country with over 1,000 people.
On October 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a long-awaited report detailing the effects of a 1.5-degree C global temperature rise. The report was commissioned by the parties to the Paris Agreement. The body has typically used 2-degree C warming as its baseline, and this marks the first time it has explored the lower temperature threshold laid out in the Agreement. The report finds that contrary to prior assumptions, a 1.5-degree C warmer world still presents dire consequences, particularly for ecosystems and people living near coasts, on islands, and in poverty. However, the report also finds that a 1.5-degree C warmer world is significantly less dangerous than a 2-degree C warmer world, and must be pursued vigorously.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 | WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its plan to rollback important methane standards put in place to curb emissions during the natural gas extraction process. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is tens of times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Hundreds of evangelical Christians in dozens of locations around the country joined in prayer over the Labor Day weekend to call attention to the ongoing work of Harvey recovery in Houston, to lift up victims of extreme weather around the world, and to call upon our leaders—both local and national—to put forward real solutions to the climate crisis.
Today the Administration made public a new rule to replace the Clean Power Plan. The Obama-era rule was the first significant attempt made by the federal government to curtail greenhouse gas emissions from power plants—the country’s single largest source of carbon pollution. The new proposed rule, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, would make minor improvements at individual plants and would allow states to ease pollution rules for older plants.
JULY 23 | WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) has offered the moral leadership on climate change that has been desperately lacking in Congress for far too long. His thoughtfully-structured carbon tax bill would improve public health, protect vulnerable communities, and safeguard our generation’s future—all while exceeding the U.S. reduction commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.
JULY 5, 2018 | WASHINGTON, D.C.—Earlier today, President Trump accepted the resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Administrator Pruitt had been under fire for months for numerous ethics scandals.
National organizer and spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, offered the following statement:
Another academic year has come and gone, and once again our Climate Leadership Fellows cohort has achieved some truly tremendous things in communities across the country.
Climate Leadership Fellows are selected for one academic year to be trained and supported by Y.E.C.A. to be climate action leaders on their campuses and in their churches by hosting conversations, organizing their peers, and advocating for structural change. Here’s a glimpse at what our 2017-18 cohort was up to this year.
Last week, an internal White House memo leaked revealing that the Trump Administration, through the Department of Energy, hopes to prop up failing coal and nuclear plants with billions of taxpayer dollars, all in the name of “national security”.
Maybe you’ve noticed lately that many people are using important days (i.e. birthdays, holidays) to host Facebook fundraisers for causes that are important to them. It is a great way to share their passion with their community and to invite others to join them in making the world a little more how they’d like it to be.
President Trump announced today that CIA Director, Mike Pompeo will replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. In response, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action released the following statement:
The rally was calling for an end to the operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline and for politicians to divest from fossil fuel companies. There was a real sense of purpose and community among the protesters there as we were all united under a common goal and though there were around 10 separate groups and organizations represented, we weren’t divided in any way. We all chanted in unison, which allowed for our voices to carry out our message. We carried painted signs and theater props. We stood together in the cold, making our values and demands known as one group with one voice.
It is with heavy and grateful hearts that we mark the passing of Billy Graham. Heavy for the loss sustained by his loved ones and the church by his absence, yet inexpressibly grateful for the legacy that he leaves behind.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently announced a plan to roll back the Clean Power Plan – our nation’s most comprehensive plan to date for tackling carbon emissions from power plants – with few concrete details for a plan that will replace it. Meanwhile, climate change continues to fuel more severe and destructive extreme weather events that threaten God’s creation, our loved ones, and our neighbors down the street and across the globe. This is absolutely unacceptable.
DECEMBER 20, 2017 | WASHINGTON, D.C.—Moments ago, the U.S. House and Senate sent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to President Trump’s desk, marking the largest overhaul of the U.S. tax system in decades. Tucked away inside the 500+ page bill, however, is a little-known provision that will not only authorize, but require the sale of leases within the next 10 years to the oil and gas industry in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR.
COP 23 has come and gone, but the work of climate advocacy still remains!
The Together for Faithful Climate Action at COP 23 team recently hosted a webinar called The Good, the Bad, the New, and You!
The team that was on the ground discussed the highlights (and lowlights) of the conference, some of the most important outcomes, and how you can get plugged into the process moving forward to ensure that the U.S. and Canadian commitments under the Paris Agreement are met and exceeded in the years to come.
Check out the full webinar below!
As countries from around the world converged on Bonn, Germany last month to discuss the global response to climate change, evangelical Christians were among them. Representing congregations, college campuses, and denominations from across the U.S., we came with a simple message for negotiators, citizens, and vulnerable front line communities alike: we stand with you.
White supremacy and blatant racism—ever present in American society and made powerfully manifest in the terrorism carried out in Charlottesville over the weekend—are diametrically opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are death-dealing powers that traffic in violence, oppression, idolatry, and blasphemy. They are an affront to the Triune God who created the world in an explosion of dizzying diversity and who himself exists as unity-in-diversity.