People of faith to “Step It Up” for global warming, Rep. DeGette joins

Environment Colorado

DENVER—Today, over 250 Coloradans rallied at First Plymouth Congregational Church as part of a national day of action on global warming called “Step It Up.” Faith community leaders stated that global warming is a significant moral issue and action is needed now.

Lead by Eco-Justice Ministries, over 20 churches participated in the event and reached out to people of different faiths, featuring keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D – Colorado).

“We’re gathering as people of faith to stress that global warming is a moral issue, and to speak out of our deep-seated moral principles,” said Rev. Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries. “Our political call is for Congress to dramatically cut global warming pollution. Our passion in making that call comes out of our faith.”

Rep. DeGette is a sponsor of the Safe Climate Act, which sets a goal to reduce global warming pollution 80% by 2050, the level scientists state is needed to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

“Congress has a moral imperative to pass solutions to global warming,” said Rep. DeGette. “Global warming could have enormous consequences for our environment and our people, but if Congress is willing to lead, we can act now to solve this important problem.”

Environment Colorado was a co-sponsor of the event and earlier this week released their report “The Carbon Boom” which showed that Colorado’s carbon pollution increased 39% from 1990 to 2004, the 5th largest jump in carbon pollution in the U.S.

“While we see global warming as the most important environmental issue, it’s even more of a moral issue,” said Matt Baker, Executive Director for Environment Colorado. “Colorado has more to lose than most states from global warming, including decreased snowpack threatening our tourism and recreation industries and unstable water supplies, threatening agriculture.”

“The good news is, we have solutions,” continued Baker. “We can make cars cleaner, cap and cut pollution from power plants, and implement clean energy solutions such as wind and solar power and energy efficiency.”

Just last month, Colorado doubled its use of renewable energy to 20% by 2020, which will cut global warming pollution from power plants by 11% according to Environment Colorado.

The interfaith event was the first time that people of faith came together to take action on global warming in Colorado. Religious leaders from a wide variety of faiths participated, including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and others.

“We care about the poor who will face the worst impacts, and about the future generations who pay the price for our actions. We know that we have a responsibility to care for this Earth, and for all of the life on it,” said Rev. Sawtell.

The interfaith community event was one of 36 in Colorado and over 1,300 happening across the United States as part of “Step It Up.” The event was sponsored by the Colorado Council of Churches, Eco-Justice Ministries, Colorado Interfaith Power & Light, Republicans for Environmental Protection, and Environment Colorado.

Eco-Justice Ministries is an independent, ecumenical agency that helps churches answer the call to care for all of God’s creation, and develop ministries that are faithful, relevant and effective in working toward social justice and environmental sustainability.

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