Important Hurdle for the Green Climate Fund Today

June 11, 2015

Today the House Appropriations Committee will be voting on state and foreign operations funding allocations for the fiscal year 2016. Currently, House appropriations bills do not include allocations for the Green Climate Fund and may carry rider amendments that would restrict Congress from funding the Green Climate Fund or other climate change-related initiatives at all. The Green Climate Fund is both an important symbol of global unity and a pressing environmental justice matter. We must urge our Representatives to support the Green Climate Fund.

What is the Green Climate Fund? Around the world, the poorest and most vulnerable populations (those least likely, by the way, to contribute to growing carbon emissions) are the most likely to be affected by rising sea levels, decreased crop viability, and increased frequency of extreme weather events. The Green Climate Fund was created both to developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change and to mitigate carbon emissions through sustainable development. President Obama has pledged $3 billion to the fund overall and allocated $500 million for the Green Climate Fund in his 2016 Fiscal Year budget. The burden is now on Congress to ensure that the Green Climate Fund is funded and we are able to support those most in need of help combatting climate change.

Why is it important? As Jews, our sacred texts teach us to be stewards to the earth and protectors of the poor and vulnerable in our global community. Genesis 2:15 emphasizes our responsibility to protect the integrity of the environment so that its diverse species, including humans, can thrive: “The human being was placed in the Garden of Eden to till it and to tend it.” Addressing climate change requires us to learn how to live within the limits of the earth so that we will not compromise the ecological or economic security of those who come after us, and so that we can best champion the poor and the vulnerable.

Why is it urgent? In many ways, the Green Climate Fund is more than the sum of its 10.2 billion dollars pledged from over 30 countries. Not only does the fund serve to actually and immediately support poor and vulnerable populations, it also acts as a symbol of the capacity for international cooperation on this pressing and global issue. This December, the U.S. will be playing a key role in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and working on an international deal to reduce carbon emissions and combat the problem of climate change that transcends national and regional borders. In order to work towards a strong deal that will significant reduce carbon emissions and stay within the necessary global temperature range, it is crucial that we show our commitment to environmental issues now through the Green Climate Fund. So today, tell your Representatives today that you care about the environment, you are concerned about climate change, and you want to ensure the safety of the poor and vulnerable around the world.

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