More than 120 religious groups are encouraging lawmakers to approve President Obama’s proposed $750 million contribution to an international climate change fund.
In a letter to members of Congress, the groups say the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is an important way to “build resilience and stability in the face of the unavoidable impacts of climate change,” an issue they say their faith backgrounds call them to focus on.
“We are guided by principles of stewardship, compassion and justice in confronting the moral crisis of our changing climate,” the groups wrote in their letter. "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 toward a low carbon future.”
The GCF is an international pool of money designed to help poor and developing countries cope with climate change. Obama has requested Congress provide $750 million for the fund in 2017.
Republican lawmakers have resisted that push, viewing the GCF as a wasteful international slush fund. They shut out Obama’s $500 million request from last year’s spending bills.
However, the administration was able to find the funding elsewhere in the budget and in March made its first contribution toward the $3 billion Obama has promised to spend on the GCF by 2020.
The GCF has been a rallying point for environmentalists and other groups, who say the U.S. has a responsibility, as a high-polluting nation, to work with poorer countries that will be impacted by climate change.
“This investment in mitigation and adaptation is our moral obligation as a major contributor to climate change,” the religious groups wrote in their letter to Congress.
“It is also a sound investment in alleviating poverty, ensuring food security and building stability now and into the future. Fulfilling our commitments to the GCF also strengthens our credibility, trust, and leadership in the international community.”