Just this morning newspapers reported that the winter sea ice accumulation in the Arctic was the lowest in history. This news has global impact because Arctic sea ice contributes to overall temperatures on Earth. Surprisingly, even with the polar vortex, 2014 marked the hottest year on record globally.

Hotter temperatures, especially in countries where Maryknoll serves, can have negative impacts on food production and water availability. As we await Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment -- which will most likely touch on the impacts of climate change on impoverished communities -- we have an opportunity to lift up our voices for climate adaptation and mitigation funding today.

Last year, the Green Climate Fund was launched in partnership with poorer and wealthier countries to leverage financing for poorer countries to adapt to and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. The U.S. pledged $3 billion over the next five years and President Obama included $500 million in the FY2016 budget.

A "Dear Colleague" letter (below, with current signers) is circulating in the Senate, urging members to support this funding -- the NEW deadline for senators to sign is Friday, March 27.

Use this link to send a message to your senators.

Dear Colleagues,

Senator Merkley invites your boss to join him in a letter to Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Leahy urging the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee to fully fund the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF is a multilateral trust fund that will assist developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change and invest in climate change mitigation. Both developed and developing countries have made financial pledges to the GCF, and it is seen as critical to reaching a global climate change agreement in Paris this year. The U.S. has pledged $3 billion over the next four years, and so the $500 million requested in the President’s FY16 Budget is the first installment towards meeting that pledge. 

Please contact adrian_deveny@merkley.senate.gov (-45694) if your boss would like to co-sign this letter.  The deadline for co-signers is COB Wednesday March 25 [UPDATED: Friday, March 27].

Signers (updated as of March 26):

Barbara Boxer (California)

Dianne Feinstein (California)

Chris Murphy (Connecticut)

Chris Coons (Delaware)

Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

Richard Durbin (Illinois)

Angus King (Maine)

Ben Cardin (Maryland)

Ed Markey (Massachusetts)

Al Franken (Minnesota)

Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)

Cory Booker (New Jersey)

Robert Menendez (New Jersey)

Martin Heinrich (New Mexico)

Tom Udall (New Mexico)

Chuck Schumer (New York)

Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

Jeff Merkley (Oregon)

Ron Wyden (Oregon)

Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island)