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Are We Our Brothers’ (and Sisters’) Keepers?

Summary: Matthew Anderson, former director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), discusses international adaptation to climate change as an important component of development work for the world's most vulnerable populations.

An issue of emerging global concern is the increasing impact of climate change on the poorest developing countries. Rising sea levels could displace populations in low-lying nations such as in Nauru, the Maldives or Bangladesh. The disappearance of glaciers could deprive people of their water supply in Southeast Asia and some countries in South America. Ocean acidification and ecosystem degradation could reduce available food stocks and natural systems that support food production and tourism in developing countries. Drought and extreme weather events may reduce crop yields, potentially leading to widespread famine; this, added to the virulent spread of tropical diseases, could diminish or negate the recent tentative progress that the world community has made in fighting poverty. Poverty plus climate change impacts add up to increased economic, social and political instability. This is why international adaptation to climate change is so crucial.

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Matthew Anderson is the executive director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. Anderson previously directed the Creation Care Fund, an intermediary fund that provides financial and technical support to Christian environmental grassroots initiatives, and Faith in the City, a multi-sector faith-based coalition in the Twin Cities. His experience also includes serving as the director of environmental and rural advocacy and education for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as well working on national campaign efforts on climate and energy for the National Council of Churches.

The Jewish Energy Guide presents a comprehensive Jewish approach to the challenges of energy security and climate change and offers a blueprint for the Jewish community to achieve a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by September of 2014, which is the next Shmittah, or sabbatical, year in the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish Energy Guide is part of COEJL's Jewish Energy Network, a collaborative effort with Jewcology's Year of Action to engage Jews in energy action and advocacy. The guide was created in partnership with the Green Zionist Alliance.


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