As UN General Assembly Opens, Reform Movement Urges Action on Climate Change
Pelavin: “There are many urgent challenges facing our community, our nation, and our world today, but few pose a more serious and more urgent threat than global climate change, especially for the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22, 2009 – As President Obama joins representatives from nearly 100 nations at the United Nations’ General Assembly for the largest ever heads of State summit on climate change, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Today, as representatives from around the world come together to prepare for the pivotal UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen this December, we call once again on our elected officials to lead the way to fair and effective policies to address the climate and energy crisis. We remain deeply concerned that the United States Senate continues to delay the debate over climate legislation, and urge President Obama and the Senate to work toward legislation to tackle climate change with clean energy this year. The goal of achieving an international agreement on climate change at Copenhagen remains in sight, but the United States must set an example, beginning with credible domestic legislation.
As Jews, we are commanded to care for our natural world and all of its inhabitants, especially those with the greatest need. The climate and energy crisis endangers God’s creation and poses an immediate threat to poor and vulnerable communities around the world, who are already confronting the effects of climate change daily. The Reform Movement is working to address this issue in our individual and communal lives, and we are working with partners across the American Jewish community to launch an historic Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign that will deepen and broaden our commitment to sustainability. As part of this effort, we will amplify the call on our leaders in Washington to pursue clean, equitable energy solutions to the climate crisis.
There are many urgent challenges facing our community, our nation, and our world today, but few pose a more serious and more urgent threat than global climate change, especially for the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world. This week, the eyes of the world are focused on our nation and awaiting our response to the climate crisis, and we must rise up to this challenge. We have worked for years toward policies that limit greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that poor and vulnerable communities are protected from the impacts of both climate change and new climate and energy policies. As we celebrate the new Jewish year, we call once again on our elected officials to make climate change an immediate domestic and international priority.
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.