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USA: Christian leaders lobby White House on climate change

Christian leaders have gone to Washington's Capitol Hill to lobby the President on environmental issues ...

High profile Christian leaders Michael Gungor and William Matthews are among a group who went to Washington's Capitol Hill to defend the environment budget that President Donald Trump intends to slash.

The performers’ trip to meet policymakers and politicians in the US Congress was organised by Micah Challenge with the support of Tearfund, just weeks after President Trump wound back the clock on key policies to tackle climate change.

Gungor and Matthews were joined by authors and musicians Katelyn Beaty, Jonathan Martin and Science Mike (Mike McHargue) in meeting with Republican Congressman David Young (Iowa) and retired Republican Congressman Frank Wolf to stress the importance of work to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

During the meetings the group discussed President Trump’s plans to cut vital funding for programmes tackling climate change and reduce the amount spent on foreign aid.

They were joined by Tearfund’s Advocacy Team Leader Sarah Wiggins. She said: “I was so thrilled to be on Capitol Hill with this incredible group of influential US Christians who recognise that it’s up to our generation to act on climate change.

“We all agree that loving God and our neighbours includes talking to politicians about climate change because we know the poorest people, who are the least responsible for it, are bearing the highest cost.

“As followers of Jesus we care about climate change and we’re so glad that Christians in the US are joining with Christians around the world as part of the #RenewOurWorld campaign to ask their government to  to keep promises made on environment budgets that help towards clean energy and creating green jobs.”

Michael Gungor, musician and podcaster, said: “We’re here out of a passion for climate change. We hear the voices of the people we’re talking with and to, and we hear what they are really concerned about. Climate is at the top of the list.”

Mike McHargue [Science Mike], author and podcaster said: “I’ve come to Washington DC in good faith to engage with politicians on what I believe is the biggest issue of our time – climate change.

“One of the best investments we can make is in foreign aid including on clean energy – and that actually makes sense whether or not we believe climate change is caused by human activity.”

Tearfund knows from first hand experience that climate change hits the poorest people hardest. Unpredictable rainfall means more droughts, creating a greater risk of famine, and more floods, damaging homes and livelihoods.

This is why Tearfund is committed to working with local churches helping poor communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change whilst speaking out to world leaders to reduce global emissions levels.

PHOTO: (from left): Jonathan Martin, Katelyn Beaty, Jason Fileta (Director of Micah Challenge), Senator David Young, Michael Gungor, William Matthews and Science Mike.

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