Warning "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change," the leaders include the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, aid groups and churches, such as the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren, author of the best seller "The Purpose-Driven Life," The New York Times reported Wednesday.
"For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority," the Christian leaders said in a statement to be officially released Wednesday. "Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough."
The religious leaders are urging enactment of federal laws curtailing carbon dioxide emissions through "cost-effective, market-based mechanisms."
The leaders told the Times their statement represents the start of an "Evangelical Climate Initiative" that will include television and radio ads, informational campaigns in churches, and educational events at Christian colleges.
Swim Week Miami Beach 2014 [PHOTOS]