Faith Principles for a Green New Deal
The introduction of the Green New Deal resolution in the 116th Congress presents a profound moral opportunity. Collectively, we have the chance to respond to the ecological and economic crises facing our shared home with bold and hopeful action. As people of faith and conscience, we are called to care for this world and its people. Climate change presents a grave danger to our neighbors at home and across the globe, to the ecosystems that sustain life, and to future generations. Hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and floods are devastating the lives and livelihoods of millions, with the greatest impact felt by those who are least able to adapt. We know that inaction is harmful.
We believe the principles outlined below are central to responding faithfully to the opportunity to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal.
Truth and science: Solutions that are in line with scientific consensus on global warming and that respond with the needed urgency and thoroughness, including:
- Emissions reductions targets consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, achieving significant progress by 2030.
- A comprehensive response that moves all sectors of our economy toward net-zero emissions by 2050.
Restoration and renewal: Economic and environmental revitalization that includes job programs, skills training, education, investment in a clean energy economy and just transition for both urban and rural areas, with a focus on:
- The economically disenfranchised, people of color, indigenous communities, and women, who are disproportionately facing environmental degradation.
- Reclamation and restoration of land and water adversely affected by fossil fuel production and processing.
- The steadily-rising economic inequality and the opportunity for a clean energy economy to help counter these trends.
Compassion and fairness: Just treatment for all including workers and communities most dependent on fossil fuel energy, incorporating:
- A posture of listening and learning from those who have been reliant on fossil fuels, and a recognition for their contributions to society.
- Opportunities for clean, healthy, family-supporting jobs that heal our planet.
- Transformation for our communities to be more prepared for extreme weather events, and more resilient to a changing climate in the long term.
Interdependence across boundaries: Sacred dialogue across political, geographic, racial and cultural boundaries, including:
- Support for vulnerable communities around the world that are on the front lines of climate impacts.
- Learning from clean energy successes around the world and sharing our country’s technology to help other countries adopt appropriate clean energy solutions.
As the warming in our world continues unabated, our local and global neighbors are suffering and dying from the effects of global warming. Urgent action is needed.
Many of our traditions call us to be prophetic voices, responding to injustice with a vision of how our world can be more loving, healthy, and equitable. We hope, pray, and advocate that any legislation written to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal will address the urgency of the climate crisis and seize the opportunity to create a new, more just and livable world for communities and our sacred Creation.
This has been endorsed by:
Center on Conscience & War
Dominican Sisters of Sparkill
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility)
Interfaith Power & Light
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Sisters of Bon Secours, USA
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team
Sisters of St. Joseph
Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
California Interfaith Power & Light
Dominican Sisters – Grand Rapids
Faith in Place Action Fund/IL Interfaith Power & Light
Interfaith Climate Action Network of Contra Costa County
JPIC Department Atlantic Midwest Province School Sisters of Notre Dame
Jewish Climate Action Network – MA
Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light
Missouri Interfaith Power and Light
New York Interfaith Power & Light
Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact
Vermont Interfaith Power & Light
West Virginia Interfaith Power & Light