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Open Letter to U.S. President Biden in Support of Big Commitments in COP26

April 22, 2021

President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Biden,

On behalf of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, we write to you with profound gratitude and greatest appreciation for your leadership in the global climate emergency, including the U. S. return to the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as your ongoing integration of climate concerns into our nation’s recovery plan and throughout your administration.

The Parliament is an international interfaith organization based in the U. S., with members and constituents from dozens of religions, spiritual paths, and ethical philosophies across the world. The escalating environmental crisis – including the climate emergency – has been central to our mission for the last thirty years.

We are writing to state our strongest support for the letter sent to you by Dr. Edward Maibach and Dr. Mona Sarfaty from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, organized by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications. We add our voice to the 32 national medical societies of the Consortium and the nearly 50 additional health organizations that have endorsed the letter. We join them in calling on you to “go big” in U. S. commitments to a truly ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution to be made in November at COP26 in Glasgow, and strongly affirm all the specific measures they describe.

Climate change and its causes have massive health consequences. Clean air for all, safe drinking water, climate-conscious agriculture, and just and sustainable food systems must be part of our solution to the climate emergency. An environmentally just transition to the renewable energy economy will save lives, greatly reduce health care costs, redress the disproportionate heat and air pollution in urban communities of color and EJ communities, and provide jobs in green rebuilding and new industries.

All the world’s religious traditions agree that we must cherish the natural world and care for it with respect and wisdom. They also affirm that we must love our neighbor, end injustice, and provide for the needs of others. Dedication to health, healing, and the dignity of individuals and communities is at the core of all religions.

The work of the interfaith movement, the climate movement, and those in health care are not separate from each other. As Pope Francis so often states in his encyclical Laudato Si’, “everything is interconnected.”

Together we are working for a world of health, sustainability, justice, and peace.

You can count on our support in all that you are doing to achieve this goal.

Sincerely yours,

Nitin Ajmera
Chair of the Board of Trustees,
The Parliament of the World’s Religions

David Hales
Chair of Climate Action,
The Parliament of the World’s Religions

CC: Melissa Rogers, Josh Dickson