More than 4,000 U.S. Catholics and nine national Catholic organizations signed the following letter to Pres. Joe Biden asking for bold leadership at the upcoming UN Climate Talks (COP27). The Catholic Climate Covenant delivered the letter on Oct. 27, 2022.
The following article was published in the November-December 2022 issue of NewsNotes.
As fellow Catholics guided by the call to care for our vulnerable neighbors and our common home, we ask that your Administration exercise leadership at the upcoming UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP27) with moral courage and exceptional ambition. Unprecedented weather events linked to global warming are happening across our nation and world with greater frequency and severity. People are experiencing profound suffering especially in nations least able to address the impacts. Yet global GHG emissions continue to rise and Paris Agreement’s aspiration to limit global warming below 1.5°C is in jeopardy. Further, international financial commitments to help nations most vulnerable to climate change appear to be waning.
Our nation has a profound opportunity to revivify the goals of the Paris Agreement. Through the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. returns as an authentic leader of efforts to dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and provide meaningful assistance to the nations and peoples most impacted by climate change. As people of faith, we ask that you leverage this leadership at COP27 in Egypt, by:
First, urging, helping, and collaborating with other nations to meet or exceed nationally determined contributions to greenhouse gas reductions, so that together the world can keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Second, prioritizing the interests of climate vulnerable nations and peoples by:
- Ensuring that our nation pay its fair share to the Green Climate Fund and encouraging other nations to collectively meet the global commitment of $100 billion to support low income countries with climate mitigation and adaptation;
- Promoting constructive dialogues and ambitious commitments related to Loss and Damage, which recognizes that historically high-carbon emitting countries owe a debt to climate vulnerable nations;
- Supporting efforts to reduce the debt burdens of vulnerable nations that free up resources to implement climate solutions that directly benefit their peoples.
Third, supporting human rights by:
- Pressing for freedom of access and expression by Egyptian as well as international civil society before, during, and after COP27; and
- Meeting the nation’s obligations under the Paris Agreement to respect, promote and consider the human rights of all peoples, especially but not limited to the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, and children.
As Catholics called to uphold the life and dignity of every human person and to care for our common home, we ask and pray that you and all members of the U.S. Delegation lead with ambition and moral courage at COP27. Doing so can inspire all peoples to act with tangible hope and renewed purpose to protect our common home for vulnerable peoples, ourselves, and future generations. We stand ready to work with you during these pivotal times, for the common good of all.
Faith in action: Use the “Guide to COP27,” the UN Climate Conference in Egypt Nov. 6-18, produced by the Justice Coalition of Religious https://bit.ly/JCoR-COP27
Share our two-page explainer on COP27 “Putting the Needs of the Poor First at UN Climate Conference” https://bit.ly/MOGC-COP27
Pray for Climate Action using the Season of Creation Prayer https://bit.ly/MOGCCreationPrayer
Photo by Matt Howard publicly licensed by Unsplash