Cardinal, Archdiocese of Newark Sign the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration

At the request of Bishop Richard Pates, Episcopal Liaison to the Catholic Climate Covenant, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, and the Archdiocese have signed the US Catholic Climate Declaration.

The Declaration reads “As Catholic communities, organizations, and institutions in the United States, we join with state, tribal, and local governments, as well as businesses, financial institutions, and other faith organizations, to declare that we are still in on actions that meet the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.”

In 2001, the U.S Bishops said that “global climate is by its very nature a part of the planetary commons,” and that prudent action must be taken to protect it (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, 2001). On numerous occasions, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have called for an international climate change agreement.

“[A]t its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both ‘the human environment’ and the natural environment. It is about our human stewardship of God’s creation and our responsibility to those who come after us” (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, 2001).

The historic Paris Agreement was accepted by 195 nations in December, 2015. The Vatican and the U.S. Bishops have voiced their support for it on numerous occasions. The Agreement provides a framework for the reduction of carbon emissions to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris agreement, the only nation to do so. In response, the U.S. bishops declared, “The President’s decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling” (USCCB Statement on the President’s Withdrawal from Paris Agreement, June 1, 2017).

In signing the document, Cardinal Tobin stated: “The Archdiocese of Newark joins with other institutions from across American society to ensure that the United States remains a global leader in reducing emissions. We call for the Administration to join the global community and return to the Paris Agreement.”  

The Cardinal also has urged all Catholic parishes, schools and institutions within the Archdiocese of Newark to sign on to the Catholic Climate Declaration individually.

To view the Declaration: