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U.S climate debate raising tensions with trading partners

Time magazine reports how “the World Is Protesting America’s Climate Plan”, highlighting how not only the EU but also South Korea, Japan and India are angry at the U.S. climate measures.

One South Korean official dubs the law a “betrayal.” as during the COP conference in Egypt, the EU dropped an extensive document complaining of “problematic” tax provisions that would harm EU industry.

Amitabh Kant, the Indian government official charged with the G20 summit, warned the US climate legislation represents “the most protectionist act ever drafted in the world.”

At the same time, however, in the United States itself, it was announced that Duke University has partnered with climate NGO Faith For Our Planet (FFOP) to host thirty young leaders, from every continent on Earth, in order to forge a global climate movement.

What uniquely unites these young people is not that they are accomplished and dedicated to protecting the planet, but because all of them identify as persons of faith, who wish to bridge the gap between religion and science and pursue tangible climate solutions for their various communities. Their idea is to allow religion to deal with what the participants describe as a climate emergency.

One of the Fellows, Abdoulie Ceesay, explains the significance of this. As deputy majority leader of Gambia’s National Assembly, and not yet forty, he insists: “addressing climate change is a priority for me, and it is inspired by my deep faith. But I am unsure if faith leaders back home understand the significance of climate change, and if so, lack the tools to explain this crisis, a problem which trickles throughout my community and beyond.”

For Ceesay, his remarkable career in West African and global politics, alongside his deep faith, drew him to the attention of Faith For Our Planet (FFOP), an ambitious global interfaith climate coalition founded by the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, who created FFOP with this issue in mind.

FFOP is dedicated to the world of climate advocacy through global programs and workshops aimed at transforming how the world’s religions tackle climate change. By bringing together faith leaders and climate scientists, FFOP injects scientific literacy into religious spaces, while also urging scientists to see faith communities as potential partners with tremendous resources.

The Duke Fellowship will carry that work to the next generation. The young, diverse, and accomplished religious leaders have been selected to learn from one another and critical subject matter experts, including politicians, executives and theologians, who will plant the seeds of a faith-based, future-facing climate action network with global reach.

“Our mission,” Dr. Al-Issa notes, “is to build a global, faith-based climate action movement,” focusing on “a new generation of faith-based climate activists.” “This young cohort,” Dr. Al-Issa insists, “are the future of not only the climate movement, but of this world.”