In the wake of the U.S. election results in November 2016, Americans attending the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change started getting a lot of questions from their global colleagues.
“What do we think of the president-elect?”
“What positions will he take on (name your issue)?”
“Who will he appoint to be in his Cabinet?”
But mostly—since we are here at a conference focused on international cooperation on dealing with our shared planetary climate crisis—the question was, “What does the election mean for U.S. action on climate change?”
After fielding these swirling questions for a full day, the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN) decided to dedicate their daily press conference on November 10th to the topic, and they asked the U.S. faith delegation to provide religious leaders to speak. Interfaith speakers at the press conference included: The Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California; Rev. Jenny Phillips, Minister for Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy for the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church; Imaad Khan, Policy Analyst, Texas Interfaith Power & Light; and Texas Interfaith Center Associate Director, Yaira Robinson, representing the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).
Yaira said, in part:
"Jews have too often experienced broken dreams, lost lives, and fractured community. We know that climate change will cause more stress, suffering, and migration—and already today, we see too many people all around the world experiencing loss and brokenness, too many having to leave home and seek welcome in foreign lands.
Where there is brokenness, we are called to mend. This is tikkun olam: connecting, healing, mending. As Jews, we dedicate ourselves to building climate resilience in our local communities; to advocating for strong action on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state, regional, and national levels; and to being responsible global citizens through strong support for the Paris Agreement."
Read Yaira's full statement here.
Imaad said, in part:
"Texas is home to some of the worst climate disasters in the United States and it’s critically important that rural communities, inner city communities, impoverished cities along the border, are connected to civil society and faith leaders in the broader climate movement.
For these vulnerable communities, local congregations are often a primary convenor, and we are working all over our state to resource and connect local congregations. The faith community has and will continue to assert that the voices of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change must also be central in shaping our climate solutions."
Read Imaad's full statement here.
Watch the full press conference on YouTube.