This week, NC Interfaith Power & Light joined 120 religious traditions and organizations across the nation representing tens of millions of Americans – including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Churches, and the Evangelical Environmental Network – delivered a letter to the U.S. Congress, urging their support for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The letter asks Congress to appropriate $750 million for GCF for Fiscal Year 2017 based on the Administration’s request.
Many churches as well as religious relief and development ministries work on the front lines with impoverished communities to cope with the damage caused by climate change. Half of the Green Climate Fund is dedicated to the adaptation needs of nations and peoples vulnerable to the climate impacts. Additional priority is given to the least developed countries and small island developing States. For example, one of the GCF-approved 8 projects is in Bangladesh, a nation already impacted by sea level rise, to build shelters and other infrastructure to protect over 130,000 people from coastal flooding. Such projects build community stability to prevent dislocations and migrations that impact the economic and political security of all nations.
The religious traditions and organizations on this letter to Congress are united in our deep concern for humanity and all of God’s Creation. They view the Fund as an important step in global cooperation and compassion to serve the most vulnerable peoples. They call upon Congress to appropriate $750 million to the Green Climate Fund for Fiscal Year 2017, ensuring our commitment to a global partnership to build a more resilient, sustainable and secure world.
For a list of quotes from religious leaders on the release of the letter, please click here.
See below for the text of the letter, or click here for a PDF version.
April 11, 2016
Dear Member of Congress,
We write to you as communities of faith to ask your support for the U.S. pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the President’s FY2017 budget request of $750 million for the GCF.
We come from different faith traditions, united across theological lines by our deep concern for humanity and all of God’s Creation. We are guided by principles of stewardship, compassion and justice in confronting the moral crisis of our changing climate. The Green Climate Fund represents an important step in global cooperation needed to build a more resilient world and to move us along the path toward a low carbon future.
Our scriptures and religious texts call us to care for God’s creation and our most vulnerable neighbors. We believe that climate change presents an unprecedented threat to all of Creation, but particularly to those living in poverty around the world.
We already witness the impacts of climate change in rising sea levels that threaten small island states, long-term drought and other weather extremes that impact the food security and political stability of Least Developed Countries, and melting glaciers that threaten the water supplies of major cities in the Global South. All of these impacts fall hardest on those with the least means to adapt—people and communities already struggling with poverty and hunger, who are also the least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions causing earth’s climate to change.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) represents a new way forward in climate finance to build resilience and stability in the face of the unavoidable impacts of climate change. The core purpose of the GCF is to 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.
To fulfill this purpose, the GCF is designed to be innovative, accountable, and compassionate. It is an independent entity with strong fiduciary standards. It is accountable to a board of directors with representatives from donor and recipient countries, including the United States. It includes high levels of transparency and accountability in its structure and governing principles to ensure proper use of its funds.
We are particularly heartened that half of the GCF funds are dedicated to adaptation needs, and with priority given to African nations, small island states, and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the GCF represents a major commitment by the global community to help vulnerable nations build resilience to climate impacts. Such resilience will increase political stability and protect humble livelihoods of fishing and farming communities, with positive implications for related issues including migration and national security.
The GCF also builds on lessons learned from the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) and other international funds that have previously supported clean energy development and climate compatible development. Notably, the GCF’s design allows for the use of innovative financial instruments to tap the power of the private sector –including leading American companies – to help address climate change.
More than $10 billion in funding pledges for the GCF to date have come from countries representing diverse regions and income levels. In addition to the U.S. pledge of $3 billion, Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico are among the donors, demonstrating a global commitment among developed and developing countries to address climate change.
We fully support the President’s request for $750 million for the GCF in FY2017 budget to continue efforts to build critical climate resiliency in states that are already facing eroded shorelines, super storms and longer periods of drought. The GCF’s first set of eight projects were approved in December to build climate resilience for millions of people in vulnerable states including Bangladesh, Fiji, Malawi, and Central America. As we recently witnessed the impacts of Hurricane Winston in Fiji, we are reminded of how fragile existence is in countries with fewer resources than our own.
This investment in mitigation and adaptation is our moral obligation as a major contributor to climate change. It is also a sound investment in alleviating poverty, ensuring food security and building stability now and into the future. Fulfilling our commitments to the GCF also strengthens our credibility, trust, and leadership in the international community.
Addressing the harmful impacts of climate change upon the most vulnerable peoples and the future of all God’s creation is the moral responsibility of our nation, and our sacred task as people of faith. We hope you will use your leadership role to support the U.S. pledge to the Green Climate Fund.
Adorers, U.S. Region
Adventist Development and Relief Agency
Alliance of Baptists
American Baptist Churches in the USA
American Jewish World Service
Bread for the World
Catholic Climate Covenant
Catholic Relief Services
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Church World Service
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Creation Justice Ministries
Disciples Center for Public Witness
The Dominican Sisters of Hope
Ecumenical Catholic Communion
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Environmental Network
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Power & Light
Islamic Relief USA
Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
The Justice & Witness Ministries of The United Church of Christ
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Lutheran World Relief
Lutherans Restoring Creation
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America
The Presbyterian Church (USA)
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Reformed Church in America
School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team
Society of St Ursula – American Region
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Methodist Caretakers of God’s Creation
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Women of Reform Judaism
Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action
Arizona Interfaith Power & Light
Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light
Buffalo Diocese Care for Creation Committee
Charleston Jewish Federation
Colorado Interfaith Power & Light
Community Relations Committee of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ
Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley
Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
Delaware Interfaith Power & Light
Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light
Faith Action Network – WA State
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (VA)
Faith in Place, the Illinois Affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light
Flint Jewish Federation
Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph
Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement
Georgia Interfaith Power & Light
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart Earth Committee
Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light
Interfaith Climate Justice Community of Western New York
Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (VA, DC)
Jewish Community Relations Council of New Haven Connecticut
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Collier County (FL)
Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte
Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, KY
Jewish Federation of the Quad Cites (IL)
Jubilee Bay Area
Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania
Maine Council of Churches
Maine Interfaith Power & Light
Massachusetts Council of Churches
Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light
New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
New York Interfaith Power & Light
North Carolina Council of Churches
North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light
Oklahoma Interfaith Power & Light
Oregon Interfaith Power & Light
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
Savannah Jewish Federation and Jewish Educational Alliance, Savannah GA
Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of O.L. of Christian Doctrine
Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ
SS Peter and Paul Care for Creation Committee, Hamburg, N.Y.
Sunshine State IPL
Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light
Texas Interfaith Power & Light
Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region
Utah Interfaith Power & Light
Vermont Interfaith Power & Light
Virginia Council of Churches
Virginia Interfaith Power & Light
Wisconsin Green Muslims
Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light
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