Catholic bishops on 5 continents made the call for to end fossil fuels, action that is critical in order to tend to the vulnerable and respect all life

February 21, 2019

In late 2014 Catholic bishops on 5 continents made the call for to end fossil fuels, action that is critical in order to tend to the vulnerable and respect all life.

“We Bishops call on all Catholics and people of good will to engage…as a starting point for a new life in harmony with Creation respecting planetary boundaries” and “adopt a fair and legally binding global agreement based on the universal human rights applicable to all.” They said such an agreement should keep global temperature rise below 1.5 C compared to pre-industrial levels.

“Humankind on the Planet Earth is ordained to live in equity, justice and dignity, peace and harmony in the midst of the order of Creation. Humankind is ordered to treat respectfully Creation, which has a value in itself,” they said.  “Central to this is to put an end to the fossil fuel era, phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in 100% renewables with sustainable energy access for all,” the bishops said. The bishops attributed global warming to “the dominant global economic system, which is a human creation.” They argued the model has placed market and profit above the human being and the common good, and said there is a need “for a new financial and economic order.”

In 2015 the Global Catholic Climate Movement took up the call to keep global heating below 1.5 C, garnering support from the Vatican.  A country-wide deep parish involvement signature campaign generated 800,000 signatures in the Philippines alone, which survivors of Hurricane Haiyan and reknowned climate negotiator Yeb Sano symbolically carried from Rome to Paris the next year.

The goal to keep heating of the world below 1.5 C was successfully incorporated into COP-21 and the Paris Agreement.  How good of a job have we done at communicating what 1.5 C means though and following up