Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life Represented at United Nations Climate Change Conference in Morocco
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
(Marrakech, Morocco) – The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), an initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, was represented at the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference. Yaira Robinson, Associate Director of the Texas Interfaith Center, was in Marrakech, Morocco on COEJL’s behalf, and observed the 22nd annual talks, which focused on implementing the landmark Paris Agreement.
“American Jews stand with other religious communities in advocating for a swift and just transition to clean, renewable energy—because we recognize that climate change is a threat that won’t wait,” said Robinson in a message delivered to conference attendees. “Strong action on climate now is a religious, civic, and human imperative.”
Faith groups, including numerous Christian denominations, have long been mainstays of the United Nations’ climate talks. Robinson said given its history, the Jewish community is uniquely suited to tackle the issue.
“Jews have too often experienced broken dreams, lost lives, and fractured community,” she said. “We know that climate change will cause more stress, suffering, and migration—and already today, we see too many people all around the world experiencing loss and brokenness, too many having to leave home and seek welcome in foreign lands.”
The 22nd annual United Nations global climate negotiations, also known as COP22, began on November 7th and concluded on November 18th. The negotiations focused on implementation of the Paris Agreement. Major achievements included the Marrakech Proclamation of Climate Action, which reaffirms global commitment to the Paris Agreement and highlights the urgency of action; and the Global Climate Action Agenda, which sets out a plan for increased cooperation between all levels of government, business, investors, non-governmental organizations, and citizens in order to rapidly cut emissions.