Catholic bishops and cardinals from six continents said humankind has a moral and ethical obligation to protect the environment from climate change and urged climate negotiators to approve a transformational and legally binding global agreement that sets temperature-increase limits.
Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, President of the federation of Asian Bishops signed an appeal October 26 at the beginning of a joint News conference at the Vatican for Government leaders to reach a fair legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement at a summit in Paris.
At the press conference, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai explained that the appeal was a response to Pope Francis’s letter on the environment and an expression of “the anxiety of all the people, all the Churches all over the world" regarding how, “unless we are careful and prudent, we are heading for disaster".
Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, confirmed that the U.S. bishops asked that a specific temperature target not be in the appeal. Others agreed, he said. Because “we live in a little bit of a cocoon sometimes, and if it doesn’t affect us immediately, we don’t react.”