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Interfaith climate advocates from across the country meet with Congress on EPA rules, International Climate Finance 

May 8, 2024 | Press Releases

News Release

Washington DC – Today, climate advocates from across the country met with their elected leaders on Capitol Hill to call on congressional support for recently finalized Administrative rules on climate pollution, and for strong commitments to International Climate Funding in the FY25 Budget. Advocates traveled to Washington D.C. this week as a part of a multi-day conference held by Interfaith Power & Light (IPL), a national organization that mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold action to address climate change. The conference attendees came from 25 different IPL state affiliates, representing 27 states.

Advocates from across faith traditions and spiritual beliefs, shared a moral voice with their Senators and Representatives on two pressing issues. The first was a call for Congress to oppose any attempts to overturn some of the recent federal agency rules to reduce pollutants from the power, transportation, and oil and gas sectors, via the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The second policy ask brought to Congress by advocates was for strong commitment to International Climate Funding in FY25 to support the transition away from fossil fuels, while also supporting countries on the front lines of climate change.

Advocates representing the Interfaith Power & Light network gather at the Capitol to meet with elected leaders on climate justice issues, Wednesday, May 8, 2024 in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Climate Action Campaign)

President and CEO of Faith in Place, Rev. Brian Sauder said of his meetings with Representatives and Senators from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin:

“Today’s discussions on equitable climate funding and the 2024 Farm Bill underscore the vital role of climate-smart agriculture in the nation’s heartland. From the plains of Illinois to the valleys of Indiana, and the farms of Wisconsin, our communities stand united in recognizing the urgency of addressing climate change. I am heartened by today’s meetings, where we met with Republicans and Democrats from across our region, knowing that our climate crisis knows no party affiliation or state line—it affects us all. As people of faith and justice, it’s imperative we sow the seeds of change and cultivate a better tomorrow.”

Executive director of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Codi Norred, said of his meetings with offices of Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff: 

“In our meetings with Senator Ossoff’s and Senator Warnock’s respective staffs, we shared our stories of personal impact, and why this means so much to us as people of faith. We asked that they uphold the recent EPA rules on power plant emissions and to continue the fight to save the Okefenokee Swamp. It is pivotal that our elected leaders seek ways to protect our Sacred Earth and all its inhabitants. We continue to be grateful for their ongoing efforts to ensure a livable planet for us all.”

IPL’s federal policy manager, Madison Mayhew, who helped formulate the policy asks and prepare advocates for their meetings with Congress said about the day:

“Our affiliates brought a strong moral voice advocating for climate justice today in their meetings. They each shared stories and priorities from their states, while pushing for strong funding to support our neighbors on the frontlines of the climate crisis across the globe, and while defending finalized EPA rules that protect our neighbors at home. It is always meaningful to see our affiliates connect with their Members offices, but it was particularly impactful for me to see our Connecticut affiliate come to Capitol Hill for the first time and meet Representative DeLauro, who is the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee.”

Executive director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light, Leah Wiste, said of her meetings with the offices of Representative Rashida Tlaib, Representative Elissa Slotkin, and Representative Shri Thanedar:  

“It was important to me to bring the voices of our communities in Michigan, and their concerns and lived experiences on the impacts of climate change, to our elected leaders here in Washington. I was glad to be able to share about the leadership that faith communities our state are demonstrating on energy issues and their visions for local climate resilience. I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with staff from the offices of Representative Rashida Tlaib, Representative Elissa Slotkin, and Representative Shri Thanedar. Recent finalized rules from the EPA will have a direct impact on the health and lives of people in our state and across the country, and it’s important those rules are supported by our representatives in Congress.”

Executive director of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light, Melanie Beikman said of her meetings with the offices of Senator Kelly, Senator Sinema, Representative Ruben Gallego, Representative Juan Guadalupe Ciscomani III, Representative Greg Stanton and Representative Raul Grijalva: 

“It was important for our state leaders to hear from their constituents about our support for strong climate action. Extreme heat is an issue communities are facing, both in Arizona and abroad, and  it has deep impacts on public health. We spoke with offices about the importance of robust funding for international climate finance in FY25 as an issue of climate justice and equity. The United States must do its fair share to support those on the frontlines of the effects of climate change, including extreme heat.” 

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About Interfaith Power & Light: Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) is a national organization that inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change. IPL works in all 50 states and U.S. territories with a broad national network of state- and regional-level affiliates. For more information please visit www.interfaithpowerandlight.org. 

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