Reform Movement Applauds US Commitment to Curbing Climate Change

April 1, 2015
Yesterday, the Obama Administration proposed a 28% cut in greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the next decade. The announcement was part of international climate negotiations leading up to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Paris, France this December. Each member nation of the Convention is expected to give their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) ahead of the conference with a deadline for peak emissions and an expected cut in emissions. You can read more about what the INDCs are and their place in the process on the World Resources Institute page. In response to the U.S. INDC announcement, Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement in support of emissions reductions: “The INDC plan is a demonstration of U.S. leadership in curbing the detrimental effects of climate change. As Jews, we believe that we have a duty to act as environmental stewards and to ensure that our children inherit an inhabitable earth.  Reducing U.S. emissions is critical to a strong international climate treaty this December in Paris and to fulfilling our obligation to protect the earth.” The Administration’s proposal and predicted emission reductions relies on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which would limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, and methane emission reductions. Former Religious Action Center Legislative Assistant Sophie Golomb testified at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of the Clean Power Plan last year. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center, called the limit to methane gas emissions a “pivotal moment” in a joint statement with faith leaders across denominations earlier this year. Limiting greenhouse gases domestically is a key factor in combatting climate change and encouraging other nations to follow suit. Scientists have predicted that a two degree Celsius increase in global temperatures would significantly alter life on earth because of decreased crop viability, increased frequency of extreme weather events and rising sea levels, among other effects of climate change. We are rapidly nearing that global temperature increase and steps like the announcement made by the Obama Administration yesterday are critical to ensuring that the next generation inherits a habitable planet. If you’re interested in doing more, tell President Obama that you oppose offshore oil drilling or talk to your congregation about participating in an energy audit and enrolling for GreenFaith’s Energy Efficiency Certification.

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