CATHOLIC CLIMATE COVENANT STATEMENT ON IPCC REPORT: We must urgently cut fossil-fuel pollution to protect God’s gift of creation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the climate crisis confirms what we are seeing worldwide: a climate crisis caused by human activity is here and it threatens our future existence. The deadly heat waves, super-charged hurricanes, storms, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events that we are already experiencing will only become more severe if we don’t act NOW.  

We must urgently cut fossil-fuel pollution to protect God’s gift of creation and the future of our children and grandchildren. As the IPCC report notes, we have a small window to minimize the worst of the effects of climate change. Mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency efforts will all be needed.  

The faith community has a major role to play. Grounded in a faith that urges us to be co-creators with God, we must redouble our efforts to educate one another, advocate for policies that protect creation, and make environmental sustainability the heart of our institutions, communities and families. 

We note too that not all countries contribute equally to climate change. Historically, the United States has contributed the most to the problem of climate change. As U.S. Catholicswe must act NOW including urging our national leaders for bold and united action toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing investments in clean energy; investmentsavailable to all communities, including low-income communities at home and abroad.

Fortunately, these efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects have many important benefits including reducing the health risks associated with the extraction and burning of fossil fuel extraction and use, and can create high quality jobs.  

Catholic Climate Covenant will continue to work with our national Catholic partners, Catholic leaders and the wider faith community to protect God’s creation, which includes the planet and all its people. We have the tools, resources, and programs to help make all of this happen.  

We are coordinating with the Vatican to implement the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. We have a solar and energy efficiency energy program, Catholic Energies, to provide project management and finance services to Catholic institutions. We have dozens of educational programs available on our website. We are especially encouraging young people to engage locally to urge their pastors, principals, and other ministers to take this call to sustainability seriously.  

And we are urging Catholic leaders to sign a letter to the White House and Congress and Catholics across the nation to sign a related petition where united we will raise the Catholic voice on this moral and existential issue for the good of all. Together, we must pray fervently and act swiftly to ensure a safer future for those who come after us. 

— Statement from Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant Founding Executive Director

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