Saperstein: “As we continue to tackle climate change, we must stay true to our responsibility by ensuring, through effective international agreements, that all global citizens are protected from climate change impacts and that nations and economies are able to develop in cleaner, more sustainable ways.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 21, 2009 — In response to the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
Although the emerging Copenhagen Accord only begins to approach what is needed, we commend all those who worked tirelessly in recent weeks to forge the beginnings of a new international agreement to protect our climate and energy future. The presence of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, as well as Prime Minster Harper and so many other heads of state, was invaluable in enabling progress at Copenhagen and we applaud their willingness to show leadership on this issue.
Our tradition imbues us with a responsibility to care for our planet and all its inhabitants, especially the most vulnerable. As we continue to tackle climate change, we must stay true to our responsibility by ensuring, through effective international agreements, that all global citizens are protected from climate change impacts and that nations and economies are able to develop in cleaner, more sustainable ways.
While we are encouraged by the commitments of the United States and our allies to finance developing nations’ efforts to adapt to climate change, we are disappointed by the inability of so many nations to agree to serious emissions reductions targets. We in the developed world must lead by example by drastically reducing our own emissions, and we hope our own elected officials will embrace this challenge and make our nation stronger in the process.
While the overall outcome is not as strong as we wished, we remain hopeful that Copenhagen will serve as a vital stepping stone on the path to a fair and effective international climate agreement. We now call on our elected officials to take on the climate challenge by passing bold and equitable domestic climate and energy legislation as soon as possible in the New Year.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.