The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
May 27 marked the conclusion of the 43rd Group of 7 (G7) Summit. The Summit, hosted in Sicily, Italy, was a gathering of leaders from seven nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – plus the European Union. At its core, the G7 is a space for the leaders of the world’s most powerful and developed nations to dialogue informally about the world’s most pressing issues and to devise strategies to address them.
Among other topics, the representatives discussed trade, security and migration. A major theme of the summit was climate change. With President Trump slated to make his decision on whether or not the United States would remain a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement shortly after the summit, President Trump faced serious international pressure during the summit. Accounts of the summit reported that despite efforts from other heads of state, the President refused to publicly back the Paris Agreement. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussions on climate issues at the G7 summit were “seven against one.”
Their pleas were evidently not enough to convince President Trump to keep the United States in the agreement. On June 1, President Trump announced that the United States will be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, making good on a major campaign promise. This move, in which the United States joins Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries not participating in the agreement, will have very serious consequences. Aside from halting efforts to address the global climate crisis, pulling out of the Paris Agreement could harm our diplomatic relationships and overall standing in the world order.
Immediately after the announcement, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism released a statement condemning the President’s decision, saying:
“This is an abdication of responsibility to address global climate change and is both physically dangerous and morally reprehensible. The decision disregards vitally important environmental efforts to protect both our planet and the population, with consequences that will reverberate for generations. Reneging on the agreement diminishes U.S. leadership and undermines longstanding alliances, placing an undue burden on other nations to address climate change.”
As Reform Jews and denizens of the nation second-most responsible for carbon emissions, we know we have a unique responsibility to care for the earth and to preserve it for generations to come (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13). It is incumbent on us to continue to work towards emissions reductions and long-term sustainable solutions, even in the absence of national leadership. Tell your Governor to take action to ensure we take climate action to meet our commitments in the Paris Agreement.