On November 1, 2016, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President, Rev. Peter Morales, signed a letter to Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. Department of State Special Envoy for Climate Change. This letter comes three days before the International Paris Agreement on climate change goes into effect on November 4th, and approximately one week before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22), in Marrakesh, Morocco, November 7-18th.
The Honorable Jonathan Pershing
U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
November 1, 2016
Dear Mr. Pershing:
Climate change is the gravest danger facing humanity today. On behalf of the Unitarian Universalist faith community, I write to you in advance of the COP22 Marrakech Climate Conference to urge the U.S. Department of State to speak out for adoption of measures of enhanced ambition to the Paris Agreement including long-term action, such as the recently announced U.S. path to decarbonize by 2050.
My 2015 letter to Mr. Todd Stern urged "a strong, compassionate, and binding international climate agreement." The Paris Agreement, while strong, needs better climate risk management through enhanced ambition to avoid potentially catastrophic climate impacts.
Unitarian Universalists have a long tradition of being at the forefront of social justice change. The UUA 2015 Action of Immediate Witness states, "There can be no long-term solution to many social justice issues with which Unitarian Universalists are concerned without a viable solution to the climate problem."
The reality of human-caused climate change is undeniably a moral issue. People of conscience are called to act for those who inhabit our planet now and for future generations. We are responsible as people of faith to mitigate the potential catastrophes of climate change by standing with humaity and caring for our common home which is consistent with the NGOCSD-NY paper Cliamte Change: Summary and Recommendations to Governments, 2016, endorsed by many NGOs, and the IPL Paris Pledge.
We expect that our children and grandchildren will look back at this moment as our turning point, when the transition to a low-emission and climate resilient economy became inevitable and irreversible. Let them not say to us, "They knew but did not act." We must all work together. We can and we will solve climate change.
Rev. Peter Morales
President, Unitarian Universalist Association