Leaders from major Black denominations representing more than 13 million Black church members are voicing support for President Obama’s climate plan, saying it echoes the Bible’s call to be stewards of the environment.

President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, at the College of Charleston TD Arena in Charleston, S.C. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ORG XMIT: SCCK114

President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Reverend Clementa Pinckney. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Bishop George Battle, senior bishop, A.M.E. Zion Church; the Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr., president, National Baptist Convention of America; and Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie, general secretary, Progressive National Baptist Convention were among the leaders who delivered 10,000 clergy signatures to members of the Congressional Black Caucus Oct. 29 urging support for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

“Environmental concerns are not abstractions for African Americans; they are real, and they affect us in very real ways, particularly our children and seniors,” said Rev. Jesse Bottoms, vice president, National Baptist Convention, USA in a statement. “We are responsible for the care and protection of God’s creation and of his children. We are proud to stand alongside members of Congress and President Obama as we work to reduce the harmful physical and economic impacts to our community.”

The AFRO previously reported that the president’s climate plan, announced Aug. 3, would set new standards to curb pollution from power plants. Under the new plan, 2005 levels of carbon dioxide emissions overall would be reduced by 32 percent, and asthma-causing pollutants by more than 70 percent, by 2030.

The implications of the president’s plan are particularly weighty for African Americans, who are disproportionately affected by pollution, according to environmental justice advocates. Nearly 40 percent of the 6 million Americans living close to coal-fired power plants are people of color—mostly Black, according to the clergy coalition. And, the NAACP has said that 3 out of 4 African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.

Exposure to toxic emissions result in high rates of asthma, other respiratory diseases and premature deaths. And, also translate into many missed work and school days.

“No one should have to live in dirty air that makes them sick, but it’s especially unfair that our least fortunate and most vulnerable communities – our children and those living in poverty and with lower incomes – have to suffer even more than the rest,“ said Bishop Carroll Baltimore, Global United Fellowship. “It is incumbent upon us, and indeed our responsibility, to work together to slow down and reverse the negative effects of climate change.”