The Westminster Justice and Peace Commission is deeply disappointed by the actions of President Trump regarding energy and climate change, which cuts across all the endeavours of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church towards a new way of caring for creation.
On 29 March 2017 Donald Trump signed legislation - an Energy Independence Executive Order - which has undermined all Barack Obama's policies to combat climate change by reducing emissions from fossil fuels. Central to the changes is a review of Barack Obama's clean power plan - a pledge to cut US emissions by 26-28% by 2025 - which paved the way for the Paris agreement on tackling climate change involving 195 countries
Through this action, he has swept away green legislation at a stroke of the pen, and has enforced his statement that global warming was a 'hoax' invented by the Chinese. Crucially, the Paris accord of 2015 has been seriously undermined on greenhouse emissions and his actions also threaten to derail the worldwide fight against global warming. His plan will therefore make it impossible for the US to meet its Paris obligations.
Yet the US is the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases - behind China, and most of the world looks to the US for leadership and shared responsibility when it comes to saving our planet for future generations. When leaders of poorer nations see the lack of resolve on the part of the US they are likely to think twice about investing cash into schemes that will not produce immediate results in their political lifetime.
To be committed to climate change means that one has to be there for the long haul and work to pass on a sustainable world to future generations. There is NO 'quick fix' which is what many people would like in life. Environmental groups and all who are concerned with the care of our planet need to unite together in a sustained plan of action. We need to proclaim the message of Laudato Si, Pope Francis' letter on 'the care of our common home', as never before. We must not be diverted by those who either deny or are indifferent to the task in hand. Now is the hour for renewed efforts.
Fr Joe Ryan (Chair) and Barbara Kentish (Fieldworker)
On behalf of Westminster Justice and Peace Commission
For Further information contact the Commission on 0208 888 4222
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