Washington, D.C., October 1, 2015 – Today President Obama will announce an updated rule on ozone pollution regulations. The Coalition on the Environment in Jewish Life issued the following statement in response:
The new ozone regulation is a necessary step in the move towards emission reductions and mitigating climate disruption. Ozone emissions create smog that affects the air we breathe and disproportionately impacts the poor and the vulnerable in our communities. However, this new ozone standard is insufficient to the task of adequately protecting people in the United States from the negative health consequences of smog.
This week, during the intermediate days of the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot, we pay special attention to the bounty of the season and thank God for the wonders of the natural world. In this week, as in all weeks, our sacred text asks us to consider and pay our due respect to our environment and our community, who gathers together to celebrate the holiday.
In our covenantal and sacred relationship with God, we believe that we are charged with protecting the earth and those in our communities who need our help. While the new ozone regulation is a step in the right direction to protecting our health and well-being, it is not enough. Our elected officials must continue to work towards combating climate change and ensuring our health in the face of environmental degradation from smog and other pollutants.
COEJL has been an initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs since 1993 and serves as the Jewish partner in the National Religious Partnership on the Environment. Today, COEJL’s priorities are to mobilize the Jewish community to address the climate crisis through advocacy for appropriate legislation as well as action to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions.
JCPA is the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community and serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.