Statement from Catholic Climate Covenant Executive Director Dan Misleh on Inauguration

Today we welcome Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America. As fellow Catholics, we join others in the U.S. Catholic community in prayer for the success of his administration and the 117thU.S. Congress. We pray that they all willprotect and promote the dignity of every person, from conception to natural death.

Catholic Climate Covenant looks forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congress to address the climate crisis and advance care for our common home, in collaboration with our partners, constituents, and the entire Catholic community.

As Catholics concerned with the threat of climate change and environmental degradation, we welcome the new administration’s bold plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the primary driver of climate change. We are especially pleased that the administration has already started the process to rejoin the Paris climate accord. We anticipate the announcement of more efforts to tackle the climate crisis at the end of this month.

We look forward to administrative and legislative actions that lead to a better future for our children that includes cleaner, safer sources of energy, good-paying clean energy jobs, less carbon pollution that contributes to climate change, and cleaner air and water for all – especially for low-income communities and those most vulnerable to this pollution including unborn and young children – many of whom have been on the frontlines of pollution for too long.

We recall what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote in 2001, “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.”

In light of Catholic teaching, our community and members stand ready to work with the USCCB and national, state and local faith and community leaders to ensure that our future as one human family is secured in the face of environmental threats including climate change, and that work on climate change integrates both the needs of the environment and the needs of people, especially the poor.

Pope Francis, furthering the calls made by Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, states in Laudato Si’, “A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

In this spirit, and consistent with the calls from our bishops and other Catholic leaders, we welcome administrative and legislative efforts that might include:

Among the critical functions of government is to protect human life, uplift human dignity and promote the common good. Caring for our common home does all three of these things and will require not only governmental action but also responsible actions by individuals and communities.

May God bless this administration and congress as we work together as citizens of this common home.

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