Ahead of Paris confab, CBCP urges action on climate change
About four months before the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday urged governments and citizens alike to start acting on the environmental issue, which it called an “intergenerational responsibility.”
In a statement, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said climate change was an “issue of social justice” that had “brought about suffering for nations, communities, and peoples” through the years.
“From a broader perspective, the Paris negotiations will be a welcome attempt to reach a consensus on responsibility for the future of the Earth and for generations yet to come. It is not some futuristic matter with which state representatives and negotiators will be concerned, but with nothing less than social justice,” Villegas said.
The Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop said the upcoming Paris conference should enjoin everyone to recognize their obligation of stewardship to nature.
“We are not owners of the earth. We are its stewards, to keep and cherish and nurture its resources not only for ourselves but for future generations. The CBCP has not been remiss in its duty of instructing the faithful on the matter of the environment. We were honored when the Holy Father cited one of our letters in Laudato Si,” he said.
Villegas added that the issue of climate change had made obvious the disregard for common good and lack of concern for future generations.
“All persons of goodwill must train their eyes on Paris, and by collective and communitarian action, make the issues that will be there discussed, the issues and concerns of all, for in truth, caring about climate change and its deleterious and devastating effects on all, but especially on impoverished and struggling nations and communities, is our way of attending to the needs of the least of our brothers and sisters; it is how, today, we must wash each other’s’ feet,” he said.
But aside from organizing conferences, Villegas said “more direct and immediate action” should also be taken to address climate change and its detrimental effects.
“Concern with the despoliation of the ecosystem and the deleterious disturbance of that delicate balance of everything that constitutes the human environment has brought home the point that social justice must, of necessity, include our responsibility for future generations,” he added.
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