Advocacy, Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Global Climate Change

In the coming days, you’ll probably hear much about the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in New York and the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh of leaders representing important industrial and emerging-market countries from around the world.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recently wrote a letter expressing his support to those meeting at the United Nations to discuss climate change. In the letter he stated: “The protection of the environment, and the safeguarding of resources and of the climate, oblige all international leaders to act jointly, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the world.”

Global climate change is at the center of the environmental challenges facing our nation and the world. Some of the impacts of climate change include increased temperatures, rising sea levels, and changes in rainfall that contribute to more frequent and severe floods and droughts. People living in poverty-both at home and abroad-contribute least to climate change but they are likely to suffer its worst consequences with few resources to adapt and respond. The effects of climate change—increasingly limited access to water, reduced crop yields, more widespread disease, increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, and conflict over declining resources—are making the lives of the world’s poorest people even more precarious.

As our nation prepares to host these two important gatherings in New York and Pittsburgh, I will be praying, learning, and taking action on this critical issue. So will Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh – check out the letter their Bishop, the Most Reverend David A. Zubik wrote in preparation for the G-20 Summit. I hope you’ll join us. Visit www.usccb.org/globalpoverty for ideas.

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