Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Maryknoll joins faith groups in letter to Congress: Support Green Climate Fund

On November 24, 2015, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and 82 faith groups sent a letter to the U.S. Congress, urging support for the ‎Green Climate Fund‬. Download a PDF version of the letter. The text of the letter is as follows:

As Congress works to finalize the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bill, we write to you as communities of faith to ask your support for the U.S. pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the President’s FY2016 budget request of $500 million for the GCF. We specifically request that you include in any final appropriations bills the language in the Senate State Foreign Operations appropriations bill that authorizes the United States to direct funding towards the GCF.

We come from different faith traditions, united across theological lines by our deep concern for humanity and all of God’s Creation. We are guided by principles of stewardship, compassion and justice in confronting the moral crisis of our changing climate. The Green Climate Fund represents an important step in global cooperation needed to build a more resilient world and to move us along the path to low carbon energy development.

Called to till and keep God’s Creation (Genesis 2:15) and commanded to care for our most vulnerable neighbors (Deuteronomy 15:11) we believe that climate change presents an unprecedented threat to all of Creation, but most particularly to those living in poverty aroundthe globe. We already witness the impacts of climate change in rising sea levels that threaten small island states, long term drought and other weather extremes that impact the food security and political stability of Least Developed Nations, and melting glaciers that put at risk water supplies for major cities in the Global South. All of these impacts fall hardest on those with the least means to adapt—people and communities already struggling with poverty and hunger, who are also the least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions causing earth’s climate to change.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) represents a new way forward in addressing these issues. The GCF is an independent entity that has already established strong fiduciary standards and safeguards. It is accountable to a board with representatives from the US government and other donor and recipient governments. It includes high levels of transparency and accountability in its structure and governing principles to prevent corruption. The core purpose of the GCF is building the capability of developing nations to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through low carbon development pathways and to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

With fully half of its funds dedicated to adaptation needs and with priority given to African nations, small island states, and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the GCF represents a major commitment by the global community to helping vulnerable nations build resilience to climate impacts. Such resilience will increase food security and political stability, with positive implications for related issues including migration and national security. 

The GCF also builds on lessons learned from the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) and other international funds that have supported clean energy development and climate compatible development. Central to the GCF’s design is a private sector facility that will allow the use of innovative financial instruments to unleash the power of the private sector – including leading American companies – to help address climate change.

The over $10 billion in funding pledges for the GCF to date have come from countries representing diverse regions and income levels. In addition to the U.S. pledge of $3 billion, pledges have come from countries ranging from Germany and Japan to Korea and Mexico and from France and Switzerland to Colombia and Peru.

We fully support the President’s request for $500 million in funds for the GCF in FY2016. This investment in mitigation and adaptation is not only our moral obligation as a major contributor to climate change but also a sound investment in alleviating poverty and ensuring global food security now and in the future. As countries engage in the difficult task of negotiating a new global climate change agreement this year, Congressional appropriation of the funds to meet the US pledge to the GCF is vital to our leadership in these negotiations and to building trust between developed and developing countries. Such trust is essential to reaching an overall agreement that includes meaningful pledges from all parties to take the actions needed to keep global temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels.

People living in poverty around the world have contributed least to the phenomenon of climate change, yet are most impacted by it. Our nation of great wealth and influence has contributed much to it. Addressing the harmful impacts of climate change upon the most vulnerable peoples and the future of all God’s creation is the moral responsibility of our nation, and also our sacred task as people of faith. We hope you will use your leadership role to support the U.S. pledge to the Green Climate Fund.

National Organizations/Denominations

American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish World Service
Bread for the World
Catholic Climate Covenant
Catholic Relief Services
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Church World Service
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Creation Justice Ministries
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation 
Interfaith Power & Light
Islamic Relief USA
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Lutheran World ReliefMaryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Medical Mission Sisters Alliance for Justice
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN)
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Quaker Earthcare Witness
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team
The Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Women of Reform Judaism
World Evangelical Alliance

Regional/State Organizations
Advocacy for Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Alaska Friends Conference (Quakers)
Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light
Arizona Interfaith Power & Light
Delaware Interfaith Power & Light
Faith Action Network (Washington)
Georgia Interfaith Power & Light
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Hoosier (Indiana) Interfaith Power & Light
Illinois Interfaith Power & Light
Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
Kansas Interfaith Power & Light
Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light
Lutheran Advocacy – Illinois
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania
Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin
Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry, New Jersey Synod, ELCA
Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California
Maine Interfaith Power & Light
Maryknoll Sisters, Eastern USA
Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light
New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light
New York Interfaith Power & Light
Ohio Interfaith Power & Light
Leadership Team - Dominican Sisters of Peace
Leadership Team of the Felician Sisters of North America
Leadership Team, Sinsinawa Dominicans
Leadership Team, Sisters of Charity, BVM (Dubuque, IA)
Leadership Team of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine
Oregon Interfaith Power & Light

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light
Province of the Society of Helpers
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund
Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of the Holy Cross-Leadership Team
Sisters of IHM, Scranton, PA. Leadership Team
Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Leadership Team
Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, NY
Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ
Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania Ohio
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA
Sunshine State Interfaith Power & Light
Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light
Texas Impact
Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
Wheaton Franciscans
Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light
Vermont Interfaith Power & Light