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religious leaders urging
protection of poor from climate change
Washington, November 1, 2007 – Religious leaders representing very diverse faith communities are urging Congress to take action to assist the poor who are facing the brunt of climate change.
The Rev. Michael Livingston, president of the National Council of Churches USA, yesterday joined Jewish, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Christian leaders in a telephone news conference.
"It has become clear that global warming is having and will continue to have devastating impacts on those living in poverty around the world, particularly those in least developed countries," said the NCC's Livingston, who is also executive director of the International Council of Community Churches.
"These communities are facing the devastating consequences of global warming including floods, disease and food insecurity," said Livingston in remarks prepared for the news conference. "However, we can and must do more and we look forward to working with the Senators to ensure adequate and appropriate support for affected communities." His prepared remarks follow.
The news conference was arranged by the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. A joint statement from the religious leaders is available on the NRPE website.
NCC Eco-Justice contact:
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Livingston, President, National Council of Churches USA
From the island of Shishmaref off the coast of Alaska that is literally falling into the sea to the coastal communities of India that are being flooded by rising seas and the rural communities of Africa that can no longer ensure food security for their families and their children, global warming is wreaking havoc on God's people.
This will only continue as the climate
reacts to the greenhouse gases we have already emitted and continue to
scientific community has told us time and time again that global warming
will hit those living in poverty and developing countries the hardest
through floods, droughts, an increase in disease, lack of water and
civil unrest. Many of these families and individuals are part of the
National Council of Churches communities but more importantly they are
part of our global community and God's creation.
As Congress continues to discuss and develop climate legislation, they must provide financial support to those living in poverty abroad. In addition, we must continue to assist in the development of adaptation plans for particularly vulnerable communities while also participating in technology transfers and ongoing assessment of the needs of vulnerable communities around the world.
These provisions are key elements of any climate legislation as they will ensure the development of international relief, adaptation, and mitigation programs for those impacted by climate change.
The Lieberman/Warner climate bill has provided initial support for impacted communities and we commend Senators Lieberman, Warner and Boxer for their work and dedication to addressing these moral issues, particularly our responsibility to protect and provide for our brothers and sisters abroad.
These communities are facing the devastating consequences of
global warming including floods, disease and food insecurity. However,
we can and must do more and we look forward to working with the Senators
to ensure adequate and appropriate support for affected communities.
We must work to allow these individuals and all of God's people to live in God's abundance and with dignity ensuring that basic human needs are provided for in the future.
We must provide financial support and the resources necessary to enable our brothers and sisters to eliminate the devastating impacts that global warming will have around the world.
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