For Immediate Release: April 28, 2021
Interfaith Power & Light Response to Biden’s Joint Session Speech:
Calls for Bold Federal Action to Advance Climate Justice
Washington, DC– Today President Biden will address the Senate and Congress in a joint session speech. He is expected to outline his plans to work with Congress to achieve progress on jobs, justice, and climate by rebuilding our economy and tackling the climate crisis. In his first 100 days, President Biden has worked to advance economic recovery policies in an equitable manner, achieve environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis.
People of faith and conscience view the climate crisis as one of the defining moral issues of our time. A poll commissioned by Interfaith Power & Light found that more than 8 in 10 faith voters see their responsibility to care for God’s creation as a reason to act on the climate crisis.
Interfaith Power & Light and its affiliates look forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congress to carry out our faithful commitment to care for our sacred earth and protect the vulnerable.
Interfaith Power & Light and IPL state affiliates released these statements about Biden’s speech:
Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light: “As people of faith, we are tasked with building a more just world—one that is in line with our moral values of justice, peace, and love for our neighbors and all of Creation. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have promised to get both the climate and COVID crises under control and to build back better with an equitable and just economy founded on cleaner energy sources, less pollution and the creation of millions of jobs. We have a moral imperative to create economic, racial, and climate justice for the most vulnerable populations in our communities and our common home.”
Leah Wiste, Executive Director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light: “Low-income communities and communities of color are hit first and worst by climate change and experience disproportionate air and water pollution. President Biden’s plan helps give a voice to those communities with his climate agenda. We have an opportunity to create bold climate policy that not only centers the voices and needs of these communities, but that also advances racial and economic justice.”
Susannah Tuttle, Director – North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, a program of the North Carolina Council of Churches: “Even as his administration has focused on the pressing public health and economic crises of COVID-19, President Biden hasn’t overlooked the interconnectivity of these challenges with the climate crisis. He has tied solutions on jobs, justice, and climate together as central components of his recovery plan. In North Carolina, the American Jobs Plan will help to provide a historic opportunity to rev up our clean transportation future, bolster clean energy and grid infrastructure, tackle environmental injustice, and boost our defense against climate-induced disasters.”
Rev. Doug Bland, Executive Director of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light: “Last summer, with 53 days of 110 degrees or hotter and 144 days over 100 degrees, was Arizona’s hottest in recorded history. Since 2009 more than 2,000 people have died from exposure to excessive heat in Arizona. In a recent poll, 80% of registered Arizona voters said they were concerned about the wildfires, extended drought and heat waves. 70% want more government action on climate change. The Biden Administration’s plans for more clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, cleaner cars, and better public transportation are a good start.”
David Heayn-Menendez, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light: “We have a moral responsibility to future generations to protect God’s Creation. We need Congress to act swiftly to take bold and just action now to address climate change.”
Codi Norred, Executive Director of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light:
“Environmental justice must be the priority as President Biden continues to set climate policy at the federal level, and as Congress writes and passes climate legislation that will affect us all. Biden’s plan will help support communities across Georgia dealing with the environmental impacts of sea level rise, leaking coal ash ponds, and unjust energy burden. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to protect Americans’ health, care for Creation, and create a more inclusive, sustainable economy.”
Peter Bakken, Statewide Coordinator for Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light: “We can’t just return to the way things were before the pandemic. Even then, our society suffered from economic inequality and racial disparities and our dirty energy economy was on a collision course with climate catastrophe. Building back better means moving to 100% clean energy in an equitable manner. Building back better will improve the lives and health of all Wisconsinites, revitalize our economy, protect our precious air, lands and water, and bequeath a safe climate for our children and grandchildren. President Biden’s climate and energy plan will help Wisconsin’s people and communities not only to survive, but to thrive.”
Interfaith Power & Light is a national nonprofit organization with 40 state affiliates and 22,000 congregations in all 50 states. IPL inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.