Climate change presents a threat to all of Creation and particularly to vulnerable populations living in poverty around the globe. We recognize that climate change impacts hit those already suffering from poverty and insecure living conditions “first and worst” and, in a majority of instances, these populations bear little responsibility for contributing the greenhouse gas emissions primarily responsible for climate change.
Interfaith Power & Light supports international climate funding, such as the Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is an international fund designed to address the critical climate change mitigation and adaptation needs of developing nations – to foster resilience and low-emission development. The main purpose of the GCF is to help build the capability of developing nations to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through low carbon development pathways and to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. The GCF continues an established history of US leadership and support on climate finance extending across both Republican and Democratic Administrations. During the George W. Bush Administration, the US pledged $2 billion to the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIFs). The CIFs were always intended to transition into a larger more permanent fund
Investment in mitigation and adaptation is not only our moral obligation as a major contributor to climate change, but also a sound investment in alleviating poverty and ensuring global food security now and in the future.
The United States’ funding toward international climate funding is important for three additional reasons: one, U.S. funding helps to build trust among developed and developing countries – trust that is essential to reaching on-going international agreements aimed at actions that address climate disruption; two, funding assists developing nations to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through low carbon development pathways and to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change – strategies that will have the co-benefit of building needed infrastructure; and three, central to many international funding agreements is the commitment of the private sector, facilitating the use of innovative financial strategies in addressing climate change.
People of faith all around the world have gathered at international events, such as the UN Climate Talks in Copenhagen and Paris, demanding action by the world body to not only reduce the threat of climate change, but to provide funding for those hardest hit in the least developed countries who bear little responsibility for this crisis. We understand that, when one part of the global community suffers, we all suffer. Support for international climate funding is one way to address both the immediate suffering and the long-term reduction of climate change impacts.