Media CenterCRS Joins Religious and Faith Organizations Calling on Congress to Fully Fund Green Climate Fund (GCF)
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Catholic Relief Services
BALTIMORE, MD, April 11, 2016 - Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has joined scores of religious and faith organizations in calling on Congress to fully fund the Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2017 budget request of $750 million for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as an important step toward fulfilling the U.S. pledge of $3 billion for the fund.
“We come from different faith traditions, united across theological lines by our deep concern for humanity and all of God’s Creation,” states the letter sent to all members of Congress. “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.”
The mission of Green Climate Fund is to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and to help these most vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts brought about by climate change. It was established in 2010 during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico and now is an independent organization outside the UN structure, governed by a board made up of representatives from several countries, including the United States.
“The GCF is one of the most important vehicles that we have to help these poor communities – from subsistence farmers to those in the path of rising seas and devastating storms – develop the resilience they need in the face of climate change,” said Bill O’Keefe, Vice President for Advocacy at CRS. “We are pleased to join so many of our friends and colleagues in the faith community in asking that it be fully funded.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was also among the almost 100 organizations – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and interfaith – that signed the letter.
Noting the impacts of climate change -- rising sea levels, drought and other weather extremes, melting glaciers – are already evident, the letter states, “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 letter notes that the more than $10 billion in pledges to the GCF have come from a diverse group of nations putting the fund on a sound fiscal foundation as it pursues its “innovative, accountable and compassionate” mission.
“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,” the letter concludes. “We hope you will use your leadership role to support the U.S. pledge to the Green Climate Fund.”
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.