Central Conference of American Rabbis Deplores U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord
Friday, June 02, 2017
The Central Conference of American Rabbis is dismayed by the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Our nation’s abdication of its share of the global human responsibility to reduce climate change and establish climate justice violates our cherished Jewish values:
Bal Tashchit – We are forbidden to destroy God’s creation. The rise in temperatures worldwide, resulting from unmitigated consumption of fossil fuels, threatens coastal communities around the globe, promises to drive animal species to extinction, and radically enhances the strength and frequency of devastating storms.
Al Tifros min haTzibbur – We are commanded not to separate ourselves from the community. Until the U.S. withdrawal, the Paris Climate Agreement included every nation on Earth other than Syria and Nicaragua. The United States has now separated itself from the family of nations pledged to seek climate justice together.
Tzedek, tzedek tirdof – We are enjoined to go to the greatest lengths in the pursuit of justice. The United States, the wealthiest nation on Earth, emits more greenhouse gases per capital annually than any other nation. Meanwhile, the impact of global climate change falls disproportionately upon the world’s poorest citizens, who are most likely to live in coastal and low-lying regions and least prepared to withstand destructive storms. Unlike the United States, the global family’s poorest nations consume relatively little fossil fuel and are ill equipped to protect their citizens from these devastating effects of climate change.
We urge the President to reconsider his disastrous decision, and we call on him to recommit the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement and the reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emission.
Rabbi David E. Stern Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President Chief Executive
Central Conference of American Rabbis