ELCA NEWS SERVICE
March 26, 2009
Lutheran Bishop Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Climate Change
WASHINGTON (ELCA) - The Rev. Callon W. Holloway Jr., bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Southern Ohio Synod, Columbus, was one of seven witnesses who testified before the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee on March 25 in a congressional hearing, "Preparing for Climate Change: Adaptation Polities and Programs."
Holloway said that the United States "must acknowledge its role and moral responsibility" in the global climate change crisis and "commit to providing substantial financial support reaching between $7 billion and $21.5 billion a year by 2030 and further increasing over time."
"For many people of faith, the conviction to be good stewards of the earth is grounded in God's command in Genesis to keep and till the earth," Holloway said. "We do not view the riches of our earth simply as material to be exploited, but rather as treasure we are called to protect, preserve and utilize in sustainable ways for the well-being of God's people and God's creation."
He was asked to testify by the National Council of Churches USA, a coalition of 35 Christian denominations including the ELCA.
Holloway said a diverse coalition of faith communities, including Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals and interfaith partners endorsed the "Climate Fairness Agenda." Written by the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the agenda unites faith communities behind the goal of ensuring the U.S. Government aggressively reduces greenhouse gas emissions while providing for the most vulnerable, he said.
During a question and answer session, U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., asked Holloway to address reasons for adaptation. Adaptation is reducing climate vulnerability and building up resilience. Holloway suggested a three-tiered approach of emergency aid, accompaniment with people for self-sufficiency, and advocacy "for those who do not have a voice," he said.
Holloway testified that the faith community is united in urging the committee to meet specific legislative objectives, such as providing international adaptation assistance funds to "the most vulnerable developing countries" and no more than 10 percent to any one country in a single year; engaging local communities in an open and accountable process with adequate monitoring and evaluation; providing funds in addition to current levels of official development assistance; targeting funds for adapting to climate impacts such as drought, natural disasters, diseases and migration; and ensuring legislation enhances developing nations' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing deforestation (and encouraging reforestation) and provide for transfer of clean energy technologies.
The hearing focused on ongoing adaptation efforts, both domestically and internationally. The panel of witnesses also discussed potential policies in climate change legislation that could assist in climate change adaptation efforts.
Other witnesses represented the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. Government Accountability Office; National Wildlife Federation; Oxfam American; Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation; and Science and Public Policy Institute.
The full text of the "Climate Fairness Agenda: A Religious Call to Address Global Climate Change and Poverty" is at http://tinyurl.com/cbmlos on the Web.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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