Originally Published on The Guardian
By Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Director of USA JPIC and OIP FCI Investing
More than thirty years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Panel was established to assess the science related to climate change and to provide governments at all levels with the scientific information that they needed to develop sound climate policies. The reports and research that the panel provides are invaluable for institutions, organizations and individuals who are working to create policies and adopt practices that will slow and reverse the destructive direction of climate change, protect the environment and make the planet habitable for future generations.
In the 90’s growing edge of Catholic Social Teaching, that reflected a deepening of the consciousness of the Church in this arena, was reflected in the call by St John Paull II that all embrace the “ecological dimension” of their vocation. This teaching was reinforced for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate when the General Superior, Fr. Marcello Zago, wrote in 1997 that the ministry on behalf of Justice and Peace “has been expanded by the ecological aspect as “Integrity of Creation”.
Pope Francis boldly joined the climate change debate in the encyclical Laudato Sí and in his messages to the government representatives who were negotiating the Paris Accord on Climate in 2015. Since then the Holy Father has continued to urge all believers and citizens to do their part to put in place a global course of action to address this global crisis. The OMI JPIC team remains an active advocate for an accelerated just transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources and products. This Guardian article presents a snapshot of what has been achieved so far through these efforts and identifies the work that remains to be done.