Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light is proud to have garnered political support for the Green Climate Fund – and our work is not yet over. “[Faith-based organizations] have been active on climate issues since the mid-90s, yet their support for the GCF was of an unprecedented level. That’s because they didn’t perceive it as another obscure, wonky fund. They saw it as a distinct fund that elicited a moral call to action on a phenomenon that the faith community as a whole accepts is disproportionately impacting the poor and most vulnerable… ’There’s no doubt that the faith community’s support for the GCF was a critical element of continuing to ensure that there was bipartisan support for the fund,’ said Heather Coleman, climate and energy director at Oxfam America.”
In July 2015, a bipartisan group of United States senators ensured the future of a billion dollars of U.S. support for the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund. They did so by championing an amendment in the appropriations sub-committee responsible for international climate finance that would eventually pave the way for President Barack Obama to draw two $500 million installments from the State Department to pay the GCF. But, if the climate-conscious lawmakers were the driver of this critical moment, the renewable energy that powered their cause might be attributed to a higher power.
Behind the scenes, faith-based groups spent the better part of the year informing senators — particularly Republicans such as Susan Collins, of Maine, and Mark Kirk, then, of Illinois — of the importance of supporting the fund. Now, with the remaining $2 billion that Obama previously committed to the GCF severely under threat by the Trump administration, as are climate change issues as a whole, the faith community is gearing up for a long-term fight. (Continued…)
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