Prior to September's G20 summit in Pittsburgh, 37 U.S. religious leaders convened in the Steel City to urge policymakers to include economic and environmental justice for the world’s poor among the summit’s objectives. “The Creator of all has willed that all should share in the bounty of creation,” proclaimed Rev. William Shaw of the National Baptist Convention. Insufficient action on climate change would constitute a “tragic moral failure,” warned Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “The people who have the least capacity to respond [will] be the hardest hit.”
The coalition later processed to the Penn Hotel to address their concerns to Michael Froman, the White House liaison to the G20 summit. A common message from the faith community is crucial, claimed speakers, for creating “political space for leaders to do what in their hearts they really want to do.” This year’s G20 summit focused on sustaining economic recovery in the wake of the global economic crisis.