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COP 28: U.S. Bishops Call for International Climate Policies that Promote Justice

Posted on November 29, 2023 in: News

COP 28: U.S. Bishops Call for International Climate Policies that Promote Justice

WASHINGTON – The United Nations will convene their annual meeting on climate, COP28, on November 30. In advance of the meeting, Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop A. Elias Zaidan of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, released the following statement:

“We pray for all leaders and participants of COP28 as they work to care for our climate. As Pope Francis emphasized in Laudate Deum, the climate crisis is an opportunity to reconfigure international relations toward the common good, ‘demonstrat[ing] the nobility of politics,’ where, as brothers and sisters all, we can achieve ‘a decisive acceleration of energy transition’ (nos. 60, 54).

“Despite the tremendous growth of renewable energy worldwide, the global economic system remains largely powered by fossil fuels. Decarbonization of the economy—through the replacement of fossil fuels with secure, reliable, affordable, and clean energy—is the preeminent environmental challenge faced by all nations. While we are encouraged by recent decarbonization efforts in the United States, supported by the USCCB, to direct historic investment towards climate infrastructure and technological development, this tremendous challenge cannot be achieved alone through the efforts of individual persons or even nations and will require long-term cooperation by all.

“No government will be successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the long run if it requires a significant increase of the energy costs of middle- and low-income citizens. In other words, climate goals must represent both the ‘cry of the earth’ and the ‘cry of the poor,’ and include the financial support by developed nations for adaptation, resilience, and recovery of the most vulnerable. Justice for the poor, including the 3.3 billion people worldwide with limited energy and 700 million without any electricity, constitutes an essential test of ethical climate policy.”


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