US government urged to protect most vulnerable from climate change

By agency reporter
June 10, 2009

A senior US church public policy advocate has urged a House committee to increase funding for international adaptation assistance for poor countries in the recently introduced American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Speaking on behalf of the National Council of Churches, the Rev Mari Castellanos, Minister of Policy Advocacy for the United Church of Christ, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Climate change is no longer something that may happen, but rather it is already happening and we must act decisively to prevent the worst impacts while protecting the most vulnerable” Castellanos said.

She continued: “This committee’s inclusion of equitable international adaptation assistance is a compassionate, just and appropriate first step forward to meet the severe needs of those who are already suffering and at risk.”

In recent testimony to the US House of Representatives on behalf of the National Council of Churches USA, Bishop Callon W. Hollaway, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA), said the Council has recommended that any climate legislation provide a minimum of US $7 billion a year for the most vulnerable developing nations to help those who are suffering now and will suffer from the impact of climate change in the futu[re.

“The church is called to address the issue of climate change and its impact[s] on God’s Creation and the most vulnerable in order to remain faithful to our teachings about justice and stewardship,” said Cassandra Carmichael, director of the NCC Washington Office and the Council’s Eco-Justice Programs.

The NCC is the ecumenical voice of America's Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These 35 communions have 45 million members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.

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