Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Faith Leaders from Across the Country Call on Congress to Act On Climate, Justice, and Jobs
Washington, DC — Today, more than 3,400 faith leaders from across the United States called on Congress to support President Biden’s full American Jobs Plan in a letter to Congress. In the letter, faith leaders write “It is the moral responsibility of our nation, and our sacred task as people of faith, to care for our neighbors, our common home, and protect our children’s future. We must work for environmental justice and public health, and address the climate crisis.”
They emphasize that leaders from many diverse faith traditions are united in their call for a bold economic recovery and an infrastructure package that creates family- and community-sustaining jobs while caring for this sacred earth.
From historic wildfires to record-breaking extreme weather, climate change is devastating our health and destroying our environment. Links between climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have put low-wealth communities and communities of color at far greater health risks than others. COVID-19 has also exposed long-standing health care disparities, environmental injustices, and economic inequities in the United States.
The American public is calling for bold action to reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change and to accelerate the transition to pollution-free renewable energy. The American Jobs Plan would transform American infrastructure, rebuild the economy, create good-paying jobs, jumpstart clean energy development, and fight climate change in the process. It also commits 40% of the benefits of these investments to communities which have historically borne the brunt of pollution and environmental injustices.
Quotes from faith leaders:
Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light
“We need Congress to deliver economic recovery and infrastructure legislation that includes historic levels of investment to safeguard Creation, to address the harms of climate change and pollution caused by fossil fuel extraction and related industries, and to fulfill our moral obligation to leave a thriving world for our children and future generations.”
The Rev. Nathan Empsall, Executive Director of Faithful America and member of the Episcopal Task Force on Care of Creation and Environmental Racism
“Climate change is not a distant threat that will only affect far-away places in the far-off future. It’s here, it’s now, it’s a moral emergency, and it impacts every single issue Americans care about — from national security to health care to economic and racial justice. As faith leaders who represent large and diverse communities, we have seen firsthand the devastating impacts that larger hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts have on the American people, which is why we call on lawmakers to put people over profits and prioritize passing clean-energy infrastructure now.”
Elizabeth Chun Hye LEE, Executive for Economic and Environmental Justice and Climate Justice Lead, United Methodist Women
“Our elected officials must listen. Women of faith are deeply concerned about the current climate and moral crisis we are in. Women and children in the United States and around the world are disproportionately impacted by climate change and the current fossil fuel and nuclear energy economy. We urge Congress to pass infrastructure legislation that will limit global warming to 1.5C and protect everyone’s health. This means investing in pollution free 100% renewable energy like wind and solar, electrifying transportation, modernizing our electric grid, and ensuring that funding is prioritized for communities most impacted: Indigenous, Black, people of color and low-wealth communities.”
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Founder & CEO, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
“The climate crisis is a moral crisis, which is why I’m joining with faith leaders across the country and faith traditions calling on Congress to deliver big and bold economic recovery and infrastructure legislation at the scale that science and justice demand. This legislation represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our economy and society and build a more just and livable future. We cannot wait.”