121 Religious Communities Urge Congress to Support the Green Climate Fund
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.
National Organizations/Denominations: 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 Green Muslims GreenFaith 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) Rabbinical Assembly 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
State/Regional Organizations: 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 Jubilee Oregon 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 Racine Dominicans 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