Join Catholic Climate Covenant on Thursday, November 2nd at 2:00 pm (eastern) for a webinar titled “Faith and Science Responses to Storms, Wildfires, and Climate Change.” In light of the recent wildfires in California and hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, there is no better time to immerse yourself in this discussion. The webinar will address the question, “Is climate change to blame for the recent hurricanes and wildfires?” Register for this webinar to learn from top climate scientists about climate change and its effects.
Join Catholic Climate Covenant for a webinar to explore international security issues and climate change on Thursday, June 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Key questions that will be addressed include:
- How are food and water scarcity, extreme weather events, poverty, political instability, and social tensions, exacerbated by climate change, particularly upon the most vulnerable peoples around the world?
- How do these impacts affect international security?
- How is the Catholic Church seeking to address them?
Speakers include Eric Garduno, Senior Policy and Legislative Specialist at Catholic Relief Services and Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, USA (Ret) and Advisory Board member of the Climate and Security Institute.
Catholic college and university presidents have signed an open letter to the international community noting that they will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris agreement. The letter has been signed by leaders from state and local governments, higher education, and businesses. As of June 13, 20 Catholic higher education leaders had signed the letter.
The statement notes: “It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”
University of Dayton President Eric Spina is one of the Catholic higher education presidents who signed the statement, noting the connection to Catholic teaching on the environment. “We share the goals of the Paris Agreement to fight climate change with science, innovation and leadership,” Spina said. “Furthermore, in alignment with Pope Francis and our Catholic, Marianist commitment to the common good, we recognize that environmental stewardship is a social justice issue, and that failure to act on climate change disproportionately affects the poor and disadvantaged throughout the world.”
Read more about the statement, including how to sign, here.
The Chaplains for Earth initiative is a collaboration of Deans and Directors of college and university religious and spiritual life departments in the United States. They are working to gather signatures on an open letter to President Trump, Secretary of State Tillerson, and EPA Administrator Pruitt calling them to honor U.S. commitments made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. The goal for the letter is to have signatures representing all 50 states by April 22. The letter will be released in time for Earth Day.
The letter quotes the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions Interfaith Call to Action on Climate Change: “The damaging impacts of climate change are already extensive…If human behavior does not change, these impacts will become far more extreme, resulting in turmoil and suffering on an enormous scale with immense harm to both humans and other forms of life. People affected are, and will be, disproportionately the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable, including women and children—those who have done least to create this crisis. This is a massive injustice.”
To read the letter and to learn more, visit the Chaplains for Earth website.
Faculty, staff, and presidents of Catholic institutions of higher education were among the 125 Catholic leaders who have signed a letter of support for the Clean Power Plan, promoted by the Catholic Climate Covenant. The Clean Power Plan is an effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce the carbon pollution of existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030. It is the nation’s most ambitious effort to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas pollution. The letter stresses the Church teaching on the care for creation that is deeply connected to the protection of human life and dignity, especially of the poor and vulnerable. Pope Francis, in Laudato Si’, advocates for the reduction of carbon dioxide and other polluting gases emissions through environmental policy.
Currently, the Clean Power Plan is being challenged by nearly two-dozen states. No matter the legal fate of the policy, signers urge Congress to replace the plan with new policies that reduce carbon emissions in an equal or more ambitious way, joining with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops promote policy action on reducing carbon emissions in response to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’.
The letter was delivered on February 16 to the new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, as well as President Trump, top Congressional leaders, and state governors. Read the full letter here.
Join Catholic Climate Covenant on Thursday, March 23 for their next webinar:
Just Transition: Shrinking our Carbon Footprint While Leaving No One Behind
2:00-3:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
Presenters: Dr. Erin Lothes Biviano, Assistant Professor of Theology at the College of Saint Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Dr. Jessica Wrobleski, Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia.
The webinar will focus on:
1) How poor and vulnerable communities bear the biggest burden of the impacts and consequences of climate change and how these same communities bear the biggest burden of the primary cause of climate change–fossil fuel extraction, transportation and combustion.
2) How we address the challenges of the transition to a clean energy economy and the rebuilding of communities left behind as we move away from a fossil-fuels based economy.
3) What Catholic Social Teaching has to say about a just transition to a clean energy economy and the communities impacted by the transition. Special focus will be given to Appalachia and how the decline of the coal economy has devastated an already forgotten region.
Loyola University Chicago was featured on EcoAffect as winner of the 2016 Climate Leadership Award. The article focused on how climate change action is rooted in Catholic identity for Loyola University Chicago:
“As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Loyola is guided by the responsibility to care for our world and especially those who are suffering the most. They’ve made climate change a priority for several reasons:
- Loyola’s commitment to protecting the vulnerable predisposes them to address issues of global and generational inequality – and climate change will exacerbate social justice issues globally and locally
- As a research institution, many of their students and faculty are seeing the impacts of climate change in their fields of study
- They believe it is much more efficient to prevent problems than respond to catastrophes”
Loyola created a three part action plan, addressing climate policies on campus, creating curriculum around climate, and developing community development. Details on these three areas are available in the full article here.
Congratulations to Loyola University Chicago for their great work!