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December 2, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement on COP25 Madrid Climate Talks, taking place December 2-13, 2019.
As the nations of the world gather in Madrid these next two weeks for the 25th year of climate talks (COP25), we Adrian Dominican Sisters invite you to join with us in prayer and voice, calling for concrete action by world leaders to safeguard our common home from catastrophic climate chaos. The aim of the COP25 climate talks is to concretize commitments and implement the historic Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.
In the last year, people around the globe have suffered the harsh impacts of just 1⁰C of warming over pre-industrial levels – with record wildfires, drought, flooding, and mega-storms. Scientists warn that we have only one decade remaining to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global warming to well below 2⁰C, as called for by the Paris Agreement.
Tragically, we are still headed in the wrong direction. The latest UN climate report shows that countries “have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions despite repeated warnings from scientists, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, further increasing their emissions last year,” according to the New York Times.
Time is running out: We must change course now.
Join us by urging your Senators to enact the House-passed International Climate Accountability Act. It would give the White House 120 days to submit a plan to Congress to achieve our U.S. Paris Agreement goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% under 2005 levels by 2025 – and to update the plan annually.
And please join us in praying these words from the “Prayer for Our Earth” by Pope Francis:
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty…
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction…
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light. …
August 22, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – In response to recent rollbacks of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters has issued the following statement:
The elimination of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules aimed at reducing air pollution from coal-burning power plants not only continues the Trump Administration’s dangerous assault on efforts to address the long-term impacts of deleterious climate change – it also presents a clear and present danger. According to news reports, the rollback of rules could lead to as many as 1,400 deaths, 15,000 cases of respiratory problems, and up to 180,000 school days missed annually by 2030.
This decision comes on the heels of an EPA rollback of fuel-efficiency rules intended to double the fuel economy of US-made cars by 2025, which would have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and tailpipe pollution. It, in turn, follows the Trump Administration’s decision last year to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
These troubling actions move us, as a people and nation, away from the “new and universal solidarity” that is required to address the existential threat of global climate change. That solidarity, as Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Sí, is with the whole community of life on God’s Earth. “We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the Earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters” (Laudato Sí).