PC(USA) Stated Clerk urges president to attend signing for climate change agreement
The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), issued a letter to Barack Obama March 7, encouraging the president to participate in the signing of an international agreement on climate change.
The Paris Agreement, passed in December 2015 by nearly 200 parties at the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, will be signed April 22. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is hosting the signing ceremony in New York City.
The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) resulted in the Paris Accord, which declares the need to keep greenhouse gas emissions to well-under a 2 degree temperature rise from pre-industrial levels.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a long-standing history of encouraging national and international work on climate change, of asking Congress to ratify the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, and working within its own institutions and congregations to conserve energy and invest in a low-carbon future.
Parsons’ full letter is below:
March 7, 2016
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a long-standing policy history of encouraging national and international work on climate change. From asking Congress to ratify the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol to working within our own institutions and congregations to conserve energy and invest in a low-carbon future, we believe that we are called to serve and preserve God’s creation.
We give thanks to God for the historic international climate change agreement approved in Paris in December 2015, and ask that you would please attend and participate in the April 22 signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York City.
This ambitious, common agreement means we have work to do—as individuals, as churches, as states, and as a country. The PC(USA) is committed to doing its part. We have had a national staff person at all but one of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and we work on climate change through energy efficiency, encouraging renewable energy development, education, advocacy, and more. We have been greatly encouraged by your Administration’s strong commitment to working for climate justice and environmental responsibility.
Therefore, we believe it critically important our country continue to demonstrate leadership in climate efforts. A key step in continuing this legacy is signing the Paris Agreement at the April 22 ceremony.
Reverend Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)