Friday, April 1, 2016
Max Rosenblum, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism or 202-387-2800 [email protected]
Gerry Lee, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, 202-832-1780 or [email protected]
Dr. Beverly Wright, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, (504) 782-8989 or [email protected]
Susan Stephenson, Interfaith Power & Light, (510) 444-4891
Adam Beitman, Sierra Club, 202-670-5585 or [email protected]
WASHINGTON, DC – A broad national coalition of leading faith-based, civil rights, environmental justice, humanitarian, business, development, science, and national security organizations published a letter addressed to congressional leaders this morning which calls for the United States to fully fund our international commitments to the Green Climate Fund at $750 million. In the letter, the groups write that, “this funding represents a sound investment to mitigate not only the future economic and human costs of climate change but also the threats to U.S. and international security.”
The groups represented include: the American Jewish World Service, American Security Project, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Climate Action Business Association, Oxfam America, Interfaith Power and Light, The United Methodist Church, Union for Reform Judaism, Union of Concerned Scientists, BlueGreen Alliance, Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund (Full list here). Around the world, Forty-eight countries have already pledged more than $10 billion to the Green Climate Fund.
“As people of faith, we have a responsibility to consider the needs of others and to answer God’s call to care for the least among us” said the Rev. Cn. Sally Bingham, Founder and President, Interfaith Power & Light. “Those without the means to adapt to climate disruption or the ability to recover from devastating impacts like drought, flooding, and severe storms will require aid when disasters occur. These problems will only be exacerbated if we do not support climate resilience efforts now. The Green Climate Fund gives the U.S. a vehicle to do our share. Interfaith Power & Light, together with our affiliates and congregations around the country, strongly urge the U.S. Congress to support a contribution of $750 million to the Green Climate Fund for 2017.”
The letter notes the historic bipartisan support for the GCF, recalling that President George W. Bush’s Administration made the first commitment to an international climate fund, and international climate finance has been an increasingly important part of U.S. leadership ever since.
“The U.S. Department of Defense reminds us that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. But this is not a military mission alone. American support to the Green Climate Fund is cost effective because this will address the threats presented by climate change before American troops have to be deployed” BGEN Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret), CEO of the American Security Project.
This year, the Green Climate Fund has already received clear bipartisan support in the Senate. Republican Senators Mark Kirk and Susan Collins wrote a letter in mid-march to key Senate leaders “in support of the Green Climate Fund” and funding for the program in the 2016 budget, joining Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall.
“Maryknoll missioners, Catholic men and women, see the impact of climate change on the lives of our sisters and brothers who are least able to respond to sea level rise and drought, from Tanzania to Bangladesh. Pope Francis recognizes that wealthy countries, like the United States, have a responsibility to developing countries to both prevent and respond to climate-related disasters. We urge Congress to support the $750 million budget request for the Green Climate Fund to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable” said Gerry Lee, Director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, a Catholic social justice organization.
“The United States and other rich countries have a clear obligation to fund climate action in poor countries. People living in poverty around the world are increasingly feeling the impacts of a climate crisis they did not cause, and funding the GCF is a small but important step towards getting them the support they need to survive” said Brandon Wu of ActionAid USA, formerly an elected civil society representative to the Green Climate Fund Board.
“The United States is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases and it must fund the Green Climate Fund adequately. By funding the GCF the United States will be providing assistance to the countries that have been most impacted in the world, and will be fulfilling its moral obligation” said Dr. Beverly Wright, executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, in New Orleans Louisiana.
“The Green Climate Fund is an important tool for accelerating the actions countries are taking to address the climate crisis, and it’s clearer now than ever that is has both bipartisan backing and broad public support across the nation” said Maura Cowley, Director of the Sierra Club’s International Climate and Clean Energy Campaign.