Environmentally concerned evangelicals, including megachurch pastors, Christian college presidents, and theologians, announced their support February 8 for a major effort to combat global warming.

During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington organized by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a new coalition called the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) released a statement signed by more than 85 evangelical leaders.

The statement, Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action, says "human-induced climate change is real," and calls on the U.S. government to pass legislation establishing limits on carbon dioxide emissions—widely believed to be the primary cause of human-induced global warming.

"Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors," the statement reads. "Christians must care about climate change, because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God himself."

Organizer Jim Ball, executive director of EEN, the group known for its 2002 "What Would Jesus Drive?" campaign, stressed the importance of the statement's theological message.

"This is not a political statement being made," Ball told CT. "We are trying to be faithful to the lordship of Christ. It's my commitment to Christ that's driving me. He's said: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Global warming is going to affect millions in this century, and we feel we just can't stand by. We have to do something about it."

Among the signatories: bestselling Purpose-Driven Life author and pastor ...

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