The Climate Change Commission of the Office of the President of the Philippines, in the capacity of Chair pro tempore of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, released the following statement on the occasion of the issue of an Encyclical Letter by Pope Francis concerning climate change:
Climate change is not just a question of environmental policy, or economic policy, or simply a political issue. It is the defining moral concern of our generation. The Philippines for the Climate Vulnerable Forum as Chair thereby welcomes the historic act of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on “CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME” that calls the global catholic community to action and inspires bolder responses by a generation. This extraordinary demonstration of leadership in fulfilling the church’s moral duty to contribute to a resolution to our global environmental crisis is worthy of the most singular and emphatic commendation. The core message of responding together for the protection of the home we all share speaks to people of all faiths. May it resonate throughout the world.
Governments, communities and people on all continents continue to demonstrate the extent of the potential to tackle climate change by reducing emissions and building resilience. The substantial benefits of these actions for the economy, the environment and for human health are increasingly clear. As the Encyclical underscores, the ethical and spiritual grounds for action are also unquestionable. Because so many already face unmanageable dangers due to global climate change, there is a profound imperative and duty to act urgently, decisively and effectively.
The UN Climate Change Conference at Paris (COP21) this November and December is a unique opportunity to establish an international framework that facilitates action at all levels, including down to individuals, and cements a global response to climate change providing maximum protection for today and tomorrow’s generations. With the planet we all share at stake, there is still time to galvanize the world’s governments to take appropriate action and to overcome any divisions by COP21. People everywhere are urged to heed Pope Francis’s appeal to consciousness and seize the opportunity to protect our common home together.
Secretary Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering Philippines
Vice Chairperson and Commissioner – Climate Change Commission
Photo: Pope Francis – source: European Parliament – licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0