U.S. Bishops Chairman Regrets the President’s Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement

June 1, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—President Donald J. Trump announced today that the United Stateswill not honor the Paris agreement on climate change. The United States andChina, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations, signed theagreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishesthat nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in order to keep globaltemperatures well below a two-degree Celsius increase in relation topre-industrial levels.

In the following statement, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman ofthe USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, stresses that, althoughthe Paris agreement is not the only possible mechanism for addressing globalcarbon mitigation, the lack of a current viable alternative is a seriousconcern.   

Full statement follows:  

"The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with PopeFrancis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Parisagreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmentalstewardship and encourage climate change mitigation. The President's decisionnot to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling.

The Scriptures affirm the value of caring for creation and caring for eachother in solidarity. The Paris agreement is an international accord thatpromotes these values. President Trump's decision will harm the people of theUnited States and the world, especially the poorest, most vulnerablecommunities. The impacts of climate change are already being experiencedin sea level rise, glacial melts, intensified storms, and more frequentdroughts. I can only hope that the President will propose concrete ways toaddress global climate change and promote environmental stewardship."

The USCCB has voiced support for prudent action and dialogue on climatechange since its 2001 statement: "GlobalClimate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good".In a letter to Congress in 2015, the U.S. Bishops, along with the presidents ofCatholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services, encouraged the United Statesto sign the Paris agreement. They have since reiterated their support onseveral occasions. Pope Francis and the Holy See have also consistently voicedsupport for the Paris agreement. 

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Paris Climate Agreement,President Donald J. Trump, Bishop Oscar Cantú, carbon dioxide emissions,stewardship, Pope Francis, Holy See, Catholic Charities, Catholic ReliefServices. 

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