The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life is ready to work for comprehensive climate change legislation in the Senate.
"Today we urge the United States Senate to move quickly to enact comprehensive climate and energy legislation built on strong, science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; targeted protections for low-income individuals and families; and robust financing for international adaptation programs that live up to our obligations to the most vulnerable around the world," wrote Jewish Council for Public Affairs president Rabbi Steve Gutow and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism director Rabbi David Saperstein, on behalf of COEJL, in a statement.
The full statement is after the jump:[[READMORE]]
In response to today’s introduction of comprehensive climate legislation in the United States Senate, Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the parent organization of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and a COEJL Board Member, together released the following statement:
“It is time for the United States to take the lead in tackling the climate and energy crisis, and the Jewish community stands ready to work with Senate leadership and their colleagues to pass comprehensive and equitable climate legislation this year. The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, a partnership of over two dozen national Jewish organizations – including the four mainstream denominations of American Jewry – is working to create a more sustainable American Jewish community and working with our partners throughout the faith community toward national climate and energy policies that protect the planet and the poor. As we countdown the final days until the United Nations conference in Copenhagen, we will continue to take steps to mitigate climate change in our individual and communal lives, and call on our elected officials to walk with us and lead the way to a fair and effective international deal.
“As people of faith, we are encouraged by the emerging understanding of the need to protect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters at home and around the world from the impacts of climate change as we attempt to live up to our obligation “to till and to tend” God’s earth (Genesis 2:15). The evidence is clear that climate change will affect poor and vulnerable communities most severely, and effects including changing rainfall patterns, increased flooding, and more frequent water scarcity, are already being felt. We also know that well-crafted climate and energy legislation creates opportunities to enhance the lives of those with the greatest need through good, green jobs, and increased access to clean, affordable sources of energy. We hope our leaders in the Senate and Administration will continue to support legislation that honors both of these central values, creating the foundation for the United States to become a truly global leader on this issue.
“Above all, we understand that the most dangerous course of action – for the poor and for all creation – is to do nothing at all. Today we urge the United States Senate to move quickly to enact comprehensive climate and energy legislation built on strong, science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; targeted protections for low-income individuals and families; and robust financing for international adaptation programs that live up to our obligations to the most vulnerable around the world.”