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14,000 signatures delivered to President and Congress;
Persons of faith call for effective response to climate crisis

Washington, November 6, 2009 Ė With the United Nations climate change negotiations only five weeks away, more than 14,000 signatures were delivered to President Obama and Congress Thursday calling for an effective and moral response to the emerging climate crisis.

"As people of faith, we are called to be good stewards of Creation and seek justice for all of Godís people," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. "Climate change threatens the global family and we must address this issue with compassion, resolution and grace."

The Countdown to Copenhagen campaign, hosted by the National Council of Churches USA (NCC) and Church World Service (CWS) over the past nine months, is also asking President Obama to attend the upcoming UN climate negotiations in Denmark and calling on Congress to take decisive action. The Congressional call focuses on the Senate since the House passed a climate bill in June.

The NCC and CWS, in conjunction with the United Methodist Women, Jubilee USA and other faith based organizations, are committed to seeking climate justice for all of Godís Creation and Godís children. The organizations claim the United States has for too long overlooked the effects that climate change is having on those living in poverty and the predicted impacts that are expected if global action is not taken.

In order to ensure an effective response, the global community must ensure 80 percent emissions reductions by 2050 with at least 25 percent emissions reductions by 2020. Both the House bill and the proposed Senate legislation meet the 2050 standards but fall short of the 2020 standards.

In addition, the NCC is focused on the impacts of climate change on those living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

ďClimate change is not only a problem we will deal with in twenty, thirty or even fifty years," said John Hill of the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society. "It is here today and devastating lives and livelihoods on a daily basis. From Sudan to Alaska, people are already seeking ways to cope with changes in Godís Creation. We must ensure that these problems donít push families further into poverty, displace them from their homes, or threaten their future"

"The NCC has worked to address climate change for more than 25 years," said Cassandra Carmichael, director of the NCC's Eco-Justice Program. "Now more than ever, it is vital that the U.S. and the UN each develop strong responses to climate change. No person, state or country can solve this crisis alone. Climate change is a global problem that will require a global solution with the active and effective participation of the United States and President Obama."

The NCC is the ecumenical voice of America's Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These 35 communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states. For the last 25 years, the Councilís Eco-Justice Program has worked to educate people of faith about issues impacting the health of Godís Creation and people.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212  (cell) ,

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