We are deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to uphold the authority of the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act. As Catholics, we are called to uphold life and the dignity of every human person. Our care for creation is an integral aspect of that call and part of a wholistic vision for human thriving. This vision includes nutritious food, safe shelter, as well as clean air, clean water and a livable climate: in short, a care for all of creation and every human person including future generations. The climate crisis is one of the greatest manifestations of our lack of care, resulting in evermore devastating and disruptive weather events causing profound human suffering.
We know the emission of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels is one of the largest causes of the climate crisis. Global temperatures continue to rise, causing unprecedented droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events which in turn threaten the well-being of present and future generations. We must bring these emissions down. Yet today, the Supreme Court chose to limit EPA’s authority to regulate these emissions, rendering less resourced our collective imperative to care for creation and address the climate crisis. We ask: how is this decision upholding the life and dignity of every person?
As U.S. Catholics we pray our nation can find innovative ways to answer the call to care for creation for all families and all neighbors, especially those most impacted by the climate crisis. We must protect our common home that sustains all life. In light of today’s decision, we call upon Congress to pass climate provisions in the reconciliation package that it is considering. These provisions will spur renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels, protect communities vulnerable to climate impacts, create jobs and address the climate crisis. Though today’s Supreme Court decision lacks due care for our common home and common future, as people of faith and of hope, we seek always to foster good will among all people, so we may work together to achieve the common good of all.
- Jose Aguto, Catholic Climate Covenant Executive Director