GENEVA – June 5 is the date for the annual observation of World Environment Day. Pakistan will host the event in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” This year’s observance will also be the launching pad for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The decade will culminate in 2030 to align with the deadline for the successful completion of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The UN Approach to World Environment Day
This World Environment Day will begin an intensification of prioritization of the UN SDGs, which some scientists have identified as “the last chance to prevent climate change.”
The goal of Ecosystem Restoration is “to halt the degradation of ecosystems and restore them to achieve global goals.” Those “global goals” are the UN SDGs that allegedly “put the world on track for a sustainable future.” The UN Environment Program has already called for political efforts on a massive scale to stop ecosystem degradation and to undertake restoration – without which the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be met.
Why is that important? Because, according to Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UNEP, “We must recognize that the restoration of nature is imperative to the survival of our planet and the human race.” The powers that be at the global level have come to believe that we (the human race) have been exploiting our planet’s sustainable systems.
A Biblical Perspective to World Environment Day
Of course, the Bible says nothing about World Environment Day. It does teach us about ourselves, our planet, and our priorities as Christ-followers.
The more carefully one reads the emphasis of any facet of environmentalism, the clearer it becomes that the primary objective is to save the planet. This is quintessential to the secular mind because if we do not save the planet (“Mother Earth”), we have nowhere else to live. If we follow that line of reasoning to its inescapable, ultimate conclusion: preserving the planet is more important than preserving human life.
By contrast, the first book of the Bible teaches that our Creator gave mankind the responsibility to exercise good stewardship over His creation. We could agree that we have not always done a commendable job with that responsibility. We can always do better.
But there is another important truth that must be understood according to the Bible. This world is only temporary. The real issue should not be sustaining the planet. The real issue should be reaching its inhabitants with the Gospel of Christ.
Heaven and Earth will pass away at God’s command. Then He will replace them with a New Heaven and a New Earth.
On the other hand, every person created in the image of God will live somewhere forever. The greater necessity is not the preservation of the planet but the salvation of men’s souls.
Allow us to share this summary from Got Questions.org to summarize a Biblical perspective on environmentalism:
Is there anything wrong with going green? No, of course not.
Is trying to reduce your carbon footprint a good thing? Probably so.
Are solar panels, windmills, and other renewable energy sources worth pursuing? Perhaps.
Are any of these things to be the primary focus of followers of Jesus Christ? Absolutely not!
As Christians, our focus should be proclaiming the truth of the gospel, the message that has the power to save souls. Saving the planet is not within our power or responsibility.
Climate change may or may not be real and may or may not be human-caused.
What we can know for certain is that God is good and sovereign, and that Planet Earth will be our habitat for as long as God desires it to be.
“Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:2-3)