15,000 Catholics Petition President Trump on Climate Change

BY ISN STAFF | March 17, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—15,000 Catholics have signed a petition to President Trump asking that his administration honor the Paris Agreement, contribute to the Green Climate Fund, and implement the Clean Power Plan. The petition was shared publicly yesterday in full-page advertisements in The Hill and CRUX.

The petition is organized by the Catholic Climate Covenant and endorsed by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, along with sixteen additional Catholic institutions and communities: Benedictine Monks of Weston Priory, Vermont, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Dominican Sisters Conference, Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, NY, Donnelly College, Franciscan Action Network, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, Rosemont College, Siena College, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and Xavier University.

Following publication of the petition to President Trump, Catholic Climate Covenant Executive Director Dan Misleh said, “People of faith and goodwill recognize that climate change destroys human life, injures human dignity, and undermines human security – especially of the poor and vulnerable. Support for the Paris Agreement, Green Climate Fund, and Clean Power Plan are three important ways that the United States can respond to ‘both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,’ as Pope Francis calls us to in his encyclical Laudato Si’ (no. 49).”

The appeal outlines the support of Pope Francis and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for climate change policies, and then asks the President to:

  1. Maintain the United States’ moral leadership on climate change by honoring the Paris Agreement (COP21) and taking swift action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 26 and 28 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2025;
  2. Support sustainable development and address the underlying causes of migration by honoring the United States’ initial pledge of $3 billion and further supporting the Green Climate Fund to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change.
  3. Support job creation and economic opportunity by encouraging states to craft plans to reach and exceed their Clean Power Plan carbon reduction goals by transitioning to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power and enacting energy efficiency and conservation standards.

Publication of the petition comes three weeks after the Catholic Climate Covenant released a letter signed by 125 Catholic leaders in support of the Clean Power Plan. Signatories to that letter included ISN executive director Christopher Kerr, Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki S.J., President of the Jesuit Conference, Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., President of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), college and university presidents and administrators, including Rockhurst University President Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., Loyola University Chicago Chancellor Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., Xavier University President Rev. Michael Graham, S.J., Creighton University President Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J., Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, women and men religious, theologians, and other Catholic non-profit directors.

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