2014-2021 Press Releases
United Methodist Women Members Share Hopes
Regarding President Biden’s Virtual Climate Summit and Nationally Determined Contributions
NEW YORK – Following President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit on April 22 and 23, where he set Nationally Determined Contributions, several members of United Methodist Women expressed their hopes for an equitable transition to renewable energy. Their comments, highlighted below, come just days after the organization held virtual legislative advocacy days where over 300 United Methodist Women leaders and friends from 40 states had over 80 Congressional visits across party lines and urged Congress to take action to address the climate crisis. United Methodist Women is a national women’s faith-based organization of 800,000 members. The group works to support policies and programs that benefit women, children, and youth around the world.
“As women of faith, we are called to speak out for all of God’s children and be good stewards of creation,” said Elizabeth Chun Hye Lee, United Methodist Women executive for environmental and economic justice, and climate justice lead. “That is why over 300 United Methodist Women members and friends from 40 states recently met with Congressional offices to ask them to pass infrastructure and energy legislation targeting 70% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030 and 100% by 2050 economy-wide that prioritizes climate justice through a just and equitable transition.”
Even as scientists, business leaders, and other environmentalist groups urge Biden to set an aggressive 2030 goal, United Methodist Women is urging that workers and frontline communities be equitably included in the transition to truly clean renewable energy.
“Our faith guides us to care for God’s creation as well as whom the Bible calls the ‘least of these,’” Lee said. “The production, transportation, and combustion of fossil fuels are causing extreme and catastrophic changes to the planet’s climate system and harming the health of women and children in the U.S. and around the world. Currently, 80 % of the energy consumed in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels, but we must urgently transition to a 100 % renewable energy economy across all sectors that is centered on equity and justice. The Biden Administration has pledged to reduce emissions by 50-52 % by 2030, but the science is clear that to stay under 1.5C U.S. emissions reduction must be more ambitious. The U.S. is the largest historic polluter of greenhouse gas emissions, and as women of faith, we urge the Biden Administration and Congress to commit to its fair share and pledge to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030 by using only truly clean energy sources like solar and wind.”
Below, please find comments from several members of United Methodist Women from West Virginia, Indiana, Colorado, Florida and Iowa:
- “These issues are important for the health of our country and by acting on them, Congress shows their concern for their constituents,” said Elizabeth Bailes of Ravenswood, West Virginia. She is a United Methodist Women social action coordinator for the West Virginia Conference of UMW.
- “The impact of climate change affects ALL of us and we must all urgently act to reduce carbon emissions,” said Jana Jones from Centennial, Colorado, and United Methodist Women national director. “This is a shared individual, corporate, and government responsibility. We need Congress to enact legislation that moves our country to use 100% renewable energy, move to a clean transportation system and provide a just transition to these goals which will impact workers and frontline, marginalized communities.”
- “We ask our elected officials to: ‘Support only energy sources that are renewable, such as wind and solar, and avoid energy sources that have adverse health, climate, environmental and societal impacts such as nuclear and burning of wood chips, wood pellets, solid waste, or construction and demolition debris,’” said Pamela Davis from Deerfield Beach, Florida. She is the Florida Conference United Methodist Women dean of Mission u.
- “We know that moving to 100% renewable energy with adequate infrastructure involves a big cost, but many people and communities are already paying the costs of not going forward now in terms of impacts from fossil fuels,” said Rita Carter from Windsor Heights, Iowa. She is a local unit United Methodist Women president and member of UMW’s national Program Advisory Group.
- “Congress must work together and make it a bi-partisan effort to solve our climate change issues. We want to be 100% renewable as quickly as possible,” said Lori Chambers from Westfield, Indiana and United Methodist Women president for Indiana Central District.
United Methodist Women is the nation’s largest denominational organization for women. Members turn their faith, hope, and love into action, raising more than $10 million annually to support community centers and other programs empowering women, children, and youth in the United States and around the world.
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