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Over 100 VA Faith Leaders Urge Legislators to Pass Climate Bill

June 3, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. - Pastors, rabbis and imams from across the Commonwealth have come together for one cause: the climate. More than 100 of Virginia's diverse faith leaders signed a letter addressed to Sens. Webb and Warner that urges the passage of a comprehensive climate bill. The letter, which was hand delivered to the senators' offices on Wednesday, states that the religious leaders see the issue of climate change as a moral one.

Among the signers is Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk of the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, Reston.

"It's critical for faith leaders who do support this, and for people of many faiths who are in support of climate change legislation, to speak up - because otherwise our leaders might assume that we endorse, or that we're indifferent to, the way in which our leaders are ignoring the environmental problems."

The Rev. Dr. David Ensign is pastor for Clarendon Presbyterian Church, Arlington. He, too, signed the letter. He says a big misconception regarding evangelical Christians, who are often aligned with the far right, is that they do not support climate change legislation.

"There is a huge amount of energy and growing activism in the evangelical Christian community precisely on creation care and climate change issues."

The letter states that comprehensive climate change legislation should include strong emission reductions, international adaptation assistance and protections for low-income families. Both Warner and Webb have expressed support for passage of a climate bill, but have not yet responded to this letter.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA