Environment Forum

Jewish groups add voices to green concerns

August 8, 2008

DALLAS – Following a path blazed by other U.S. religious groups, a diverse coalition of Jewish organizations has outlined its concerns regarding the environment and called for action from Congress and the Administration.

Spearheaded by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, it calls among other things for an aggressive 80 percent cut in carbon reductions by 2050.

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It also calls for a cap on emissions, tax credits to encourage the purchase of new technologies and provisions for public transit.

The statement, called “Jewish Community Priorities for Climate and Energy Policy,” is rooted in Jewish teachings about obligations to the poor and creation care — an echo of calls for action on the environment by other faith traditions including the U.S. evangelical movement.

Our tradition teaches that Adam and Eve were asked ‘to till and to tend’ the Garden of Eden. We believe humans remain a partner in Creation,”  the statement says.

  It also notes that “Jewish tradition is founded on the principles of justice … (and) Both climate change itself and policies taken to address it present a disproportionate burden on the poor.”

The coalition of Jewish groups which have signed up to the document is diverse and include B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism among others.

It is all part of and parcel of the widening social agenda among faith-based groups in the United States and points to the broadening of the broad “green coalition.”

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Fred Prouser, June 19, 2008, USA)

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