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USCCB, CRS urge Secretary Tillerson to support Green Climate Fund, clean-energy investments

February 20, 2017

Two bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, have called upon Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support the Green Climate Fund, an international program that is part of the Paris agreement on climate change.

Bishop Oscar Cantú, Bishop Frank Dewane, and Sean Callahan said in their February 17 letter that Tillerson appears to share Pope Francis’s “nuanced understanding of climate change”—an understanding that “creates space for reasonable people to recognize, without controversy, that the climate is changing and highlights the importance of adaptation in response.”

“From the perspective of Catholic social teaching, adaptation ranks among the most important actions we can take,” they continued. “Adaptation policy is fundamentally concerned with helping God’s creatures and all human beings, especially those who are poor, to adapt to the effects of climate change, regardless of the causes.”

The prelates and Callahan urged Tillerson to foster adaptation by supporting the Green Climate Fund. They also called for a greater US investment in clean-energy technology.

“This is a time of both uncertainty and significant opportunity for our nation and world,” the bishops and Callahan concluded. “Filled with hope in God, we pray that your work may contribute to America’s material, social and spiritual wealth and further solidarity across the world.”


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  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 21, 2017 10:01 AM ET USA

    We are in dire need of bishops who can "Teach as Jesus did". Most countries already have too many politicians and see no need for bishop-politicians from the Catholic Church!

  • Posted by: claude-ccc2991 - Feb. 21, 2017 4:11 AM ET USA

    None so blind as those who will not see. Farm productivity has increased 17% since 1900 strictly from increase in atmospheric CO2; were temp 0.5C lower, Canada couldn't grow wheat. So-called clean-energy tech isn't clean since all minerals & other raw materials plus steel & towers produces pollution in mining & manufacturing. They worry about 0.67 inches/DECADE of sea level increase (tide guages), but not the $100 trillion cost on the poor of the Paris agreement by 2100. WE DON'T HAVE $100 TRIL!

  • Posted by: skall391825 - Feb. 21, 2017 3:19 AM ET USA

    The USCCB has entirely too much money, and the bishops have too much time on their hands. They should read Paragraph 188 of Laudato Si'and then leave science to non-grant dependent scientists and politicians.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 21, 2017 2:58 AM ET USA

    And I urge Secretary of State Rex Tillerson NOT to support the Green Climate Fund or the Paris Agreement, for that matter. As the other comment said, this is NOT in the competence of bishops! We need their brilliance instead to solve the problem of decreasing Mass attendance, decreasing belief in the True Presence and their answer to the question of how to evangelize Catholics so that they do not support abortion, gay "marriage" and divorce with the same frequency as the rest of the population.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Feb. 20, 2017 9:55 PM ET USA

    For a church in severe theological turmoil, it would seem time would be better spent being concerned about those problems; the only plus to their statement is the omission of the typical liberal control phrase of "man-made" climate change. As to "uncertainty" and "significant opportunity", well, many better places to focus those kinds of worries.

  • Posted by: rpp - Feb. 20, 2017 5:29 PM ET USA

    This is not an example of bishops acting competently.