Catholic Climate Covenant Statement on the Virtual Climate Summit

Today, President Biden convened 40 world leaders to reinvigorate American leadership and global cooperation to accelerate the solutions the world needs to meet the epic challenge of climate change. The Administration also announced commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by more than fifty percent by the year 2030. Combined with the aspects of the American Jobs Plan to assist disadvantaged peoples and communities while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, these are positive steps our nation can take to uplift the dignity of all peoples and address climate change.

Pope Francis said at the virtual summit that the dual crises of climate change and COVID pandemic have given the world a chance to emerge stronger, or worse, and that we must together care for nature so it can care for us. In his Earth Day video message from the Vatican, Pope Francis said that the global catastrophes of the pandemic and the climate crisis remind us that we share the Earth together and must act together. “We have the means, it is time to act, we are at the limit,” he urged, calling on world leaders to act with courage and justice.

Encouraged by the global summit, the Administration’s leadership, and Pope Francis’ exhortations, the Catholic Climate Covenant looks forward to contributing to the urgent solutions the world needs to address the climate crisis. We echo the approach expressed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which stated, “At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both “the human environment” and the natural environment.” [i] “As individuals, as institutions, as a people, we need a change of heart to preserve and protect the planet for our children and for generations yet unborn.”[ii] 

Jose Aguto
Associate Director
Catholic Climate Covenant

[i] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change A Plea for Dialogue Prudence and the Common Good (2001).

[ii] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching (1992).

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