Seeking a global ethic CLIMATE JUSTICE

Climate Justice - Caritas

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Page 1: Climate Justice - Caritas

Seeking a global ethic


Page 2: Climate Justice - Caritas


Introduction 3

Foreword by Caritas InternationalisSecretary General Lesley-Anne Knight 4

Part 1: Living the reality of climate change 6

Part 2: Biblical principles 10

Part 3: Caritas in action 16

Part 4: Putting people first 20

Footnotes 24

Bibliography 25

Acknowledgements 26

Climate Justice: Seeking a global ethicis a Working Document of Caritas Internationalis

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Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | �


As a confederation of Catholic organisations representing boththe richest and the poorest countries on Earth, CaritasInternationalis embodies the solidarity the world needs if it is tofind sustainable solutions to the effects of climate change.

Caritas has a particular strength and opportunity to develop clearmoral arguments, based on the Bible and Catholic SocialTeaching, in order to drive political and social action that willtranscend narrow personal and national interests in favour of thecommon good.

Catholic Social Teaching reminds us of our shared duty to respectthe common good rather than using the Earth’s natural resourcessimply as we wish. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine ofthe Church emphasises the sacred gift that we have receivedthrough God’s creation and our “human responsibility for thepreservation of a sound and healthy environment for all.” It alsoinsists that “serious ecological problems call for an effectivechange of mentality leading to the adoption of new lifestyles.”1

This report seeks to raise awareness of our individualresponsibilities as members of a common humanity, and sets outthe key policies on which Caritas is campaigning at international,regional and national levels.

Caritas urges governments to support and implement a post-2012 global climate change agreement that will keep globalmean surface temperatures as far as possible below a 2°Cincrease on pre-industrial levels.

In recognition of their ecological debt to theinternational community, industrialisednations should take the lead in makingabsolute reductions of greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions of more than 40 percent

(based on 1990 levels) by 2020. This target should be reviewed asthe emerging science indicates.

Developed countries must provide sufficient levels of securefinancial and technological support for developing countries tomitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Morebroadly, it is also essential that the sustainable development ofthe people in developing countries is recognised and addressed.

In order to provide immediate and effective advice regarding thehuman rights implications of actions designed to address climatechange, the UN human rights mechanisms must fully participatein the processes of the United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC).

The environment is a shared good that transcends nationalborders. Caritas therefore urges states to adopt regionalapproaches to addressing the causes and consequences ofclimate change, including the promotion of dialogue andcooperation between neighbouring countries in themanagement of natural resources.

Caritas appeals to governments to develop and enforce nationalpolicy frameworks that facilitate the identification andimplementation of climate solutions at the levels of localgovernments, businesses, civil societies and families.

Caritas Internationalis also asks its own members to help insafeguarding the integrity of creation for future

generations through a strategic focus onenvironmental sustainability and by

reducing the carbon footprint of theirrespective organisations.

Ethiopians battletheir tough climate

to grow food.Jan Bierkens/Caritas Belgium

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By Lesley-Anne Knight, SecretaryGeneral of Caritas Internationalis

The world is waking up to the reality ofclimate change. Scientists agree that it ishappening – and that humanity is causingit. Engineers claim that we have thetechnology to reduce carbon emissions.Economists say we cannot afford to ignoreit and have devised clever incentives toencourage business leaders to play theirpart. And politicians have realised thatthey have, at the very least, to pay lip-service to the cause.

But none of the above has a ‘magic bullet’solution. The answer to the climatechange crisis lies in the hands of humanity– in a revived sense of solidarity and arealisation that we all have a duty to worktowards the common good.

In his recent encyclical, Caritas in Veritate,Pope Benedict XVI defines solidarity as“first and foremost a sense ofresponsibility on the part of everyone withregard to everyone”.2 To desire thecommon good and strive towards it, hesays, “is a requirement of justice andcharity”.3

Victory over climate change will come at aprice, and the lion’s share of that priceshould rightly be paid by those who havebenefitted most from the growth anddevelopment that is causing climatechange.

Like the global financial crisis, the climatechange crisis can be seen in terms ofexcessive borrowing: we have borrowedfrom the atmosphere and biodiversity ofthe future. As the economist Dieter Helmhas pointed out: “We have been writing alarge environmental mortgage on theconsumption possibilities of futuregenerations.”4

It might further be argued that thedeveloped world has also borrowed fromthe development potential of poorercountries.

These ‘loans’ must be repaid – there is noglobal atmospheric fund that is going tobail us out of this crisis. Excessiveborrowing has funded excessiveconsumption, and it therefore follows thatthose who are in the best position to takeaction also have a responsibility to do so.

The inescapable conclusion is that – in aspirit of solidarity in pursuit of thecommon good – the excesses of the pastmust give way to more moderate lifestylesthat permit the development of allpeoples and of future generations.

As Helm notes: “We may have to preservemore now, lowering our standards ofliving, not only to make good all thefinancial borrowing, but theenvironmental borrowing too.”5

There is actually nothing new in thissuggestion. Nearly 40 years ago, theSecond Synod of Bishops stated: “Thosewho are already rich are bound to accepta less material way of life, with less waste,in order to avoid the destruction of theheritage which they are obliged byabsolute justice to share with all othermembers of the human race.”6

What is new is that we now haveeconomists backing up the arguments ofthe Church.

Pope Benedict too calls upon society tomake a serious review of its lifestyle.Quoting his predecessor, John Paul II, hesays:

“What is needed is an effective shift inmentality which can lead to the

adoption of new lifestyles ‘in whichthe quest for truth, beauty, goodnessand communion with others for thesake of common growth are thefactors which determine consumerchoices, savings and investments’.”7

The idea of accepting a reduced standardof living is not, however, going to be avote-winner for governments. It will takecourageous leaders to promote a cultureof lower consumption. And they will needthe support of the people.

This is why Caritas Internationalis isfocussing on the ethical, moral andtheological dimensions of the climatechange crisis. The scientific and economic

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arguments are important, but they are notenough. If we are to change the world, wehave to change human behaviour; and afundamental change in human behaviourcan only be based on deep-seatedconviction, not short-term expediency.

In this document, we hear from ourCaritas member organisations about thesuffering that is already taking place as aresult of extreme weather events; weexamine the theological, moral andethical arguments relating to climatechange; we explore the inescapableobligations that Catholic Social Teachingplaces upon us; we look at the workCaritas organisations are doing in the fieldto help people overcome the devastating

effects of climate change, and whatCaritas Internationalis can do at a globallevel to campaign for real and effectivechange.

Pope Benedict speaks of the need for“intergenerational justice”. He says, “Wemust recognise our grave duty to handthe Earth on to future generations in sucha condition that they too can worthilyinhabit it and continue to cultivate it.”8

Justice lies at the heart of CaritasInternationalis’ strategy in addressing theclimate change crisis. Without it there canbe no sustainable solution.

Lesley-Anne Knightin Bangladesh.

If we are to change theworld, we have to changehuman behaviour; and afundamental change inhuman behaviour can onlybe based on deep-seatedconviction, not short-termexpediency.

Cuba after HurricaneIvan struck in 2004.

ed Foster Jr./CRs

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The effects of climate change arealready a daily reality for many people,particularly for the world’s poorest andmost vulnerable.

Weather is becoming more extreme andunpredictable, bringing severe storms,more floods and droughts. Glaciers,permafrost and sea ice are disappearing;sea levels are rising; forests are shrinking;water tables are falling; rivers are runningdry and seasons are changing. The WorldHealth Organization has estimated that150,000 people are dying every yearbecause of climate change.9

In recent years, some of the worstdroughts on record have beenexperienced in Africa and Australia; therehave been extreme floods across SouthAsia, intense cyclones in Asia and theCaribbean and record heat waves.

The Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC) reports that, by 2020,productivity from agriculture in manyAfrican countries could be reduced by asmuch as 50 percent. These negativeimpacts on agriculture will compromisefood security and increase cases ofmalnutrition.10

The scientific predictions are confirmed bythe daily experiences of poorcommunities. Trócaire (Caritas Ireland) hasdocumented anecdotal evidence frompeople living in resource-poorcommunities across the globe.11

Approximately 90 percent of respondentsreported significant changes in seasonalweather patterns and 95 percent reportedchanges in rainfall patterns. Manyrespondents described more erraticrainfall patterns with fewer rainy days andlonger dry spells during the season, aswell as the later onset and/or the earlyfinish of the rainy season. Such trends

contribute to reduced overall rainfall,which has a devastating impact on theagriculture upon which rural communitiesdepend.

Poor farmers, fishermen, pastoralists andthose largely dependent on forestproducts are most affected by increases intemperature and disrupted hydrologicalcycles, and have a limited asset base toenable them to adapt to these changes.Such challenges threaten to reverseimprovements in the lives of poor people,achieved through the support oforganisations such as Caritas.

Climate change compounds the povertythat persists in most developing countries.Since the 1960s, the number of victims ofnatural disasters has increased by an

average of 900 percent. Climate change isamong the principle causes that some aidagencies link to the increase inhumanitarian emergencies.12 In Kenya, thepremature ending of the March-May rainsin recent years has exacerbated thedrought caused by several seasons ofpoor rainfall. In Eritrea, poor rains in 2004caused drinking water shortages, and insouthern Africa, more frequent droughtshave resulted in widespread starvationand economic hardship.

It is estimated that two billion people nowdepend on the fragile ecosystems of aridand semi-arid areas, which are expectedto experience further increases in waterstress. Some 634 million people, one tenthof the global population, are living in lowlying and at risk coastal areas.13

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Living the reality of climate change

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Caritas organisations around the world aredealing on a regular basis with theimpacts of climate-related crises, whichare increasing in frequency and intensity.The number of humanitarian disastersrecorded has increased from around 200to more than 400 over the past twodecades and seven out of every tendisasters is now climate-related.14

Caritas Oceania reports that people in theSouth Pacific are losing their islands torising sea levels. Caritas India and CaritasPeru describe how vital water will be lostas glaciers in the Himalayas and Andes

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | �

The Island of Ha’apai:Kingdom of Tongathe Kingdom of tonga, a group of islands in the south Pacific, is facingthe consequences of climate change.

“We are lucky if a year goes past,” says sr senolita Vakata of Caritastonga, “without a cyclone or hurricane hitting our country.”

Pangai Ha’apai is one of the island groups in tonga. Children used toplay on the beach and close to home. Now, as waters rise, they aremoving inland and children really miss the healthy environment andthe freshness of the sea breeze.

Families had easy access to the sea for shallow sea fishing before. Butover the last two years, the fish and oysters they used to catch and onwhich they fed their families are no longer there.

they always built their houses near the beach. Now, you can see theimpact of climate change on these houses near the sea. For the lastthree years, rising sea levels have caused very strong currents andpowerful waves which have eroded the land on which their houses arebuilt.

With this coastal erosion, families are facing a battle for their houses,their way of life and for their children’s future.

Caritas tonga

Girls scooping water from ahole they dug in the sand of

a wadi in South Darfur.Paul Jeffrey/aCt-Caritas

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recede. Caritas Myanmar and CaritasBangladesh have been forced to respondto increasing flooding and destructioncaused by typhoons.

Other national Caritas organisations speakabout increasing numbers of internallydisplaced farmers who have becomesquatters in ever-expanding cities.Catholic Charities (a Caritas member in theUSA) observed that those who sufferedmost from Hurricane Katrina in thesouthern United States were the poor.Caritas agencies were called to help thepeople of Haiti when they suffered fourhurricanes in 2008.

The effects of climate change will alsohave an impact on patterns of populationmovement and settlement. Thisdisplacement will come as a result ofslow-onset changes such as sea level riseand desertification, as well as rapid onsetdisasters such as cyclones or tsunamis.Although difficult to predict, it is

estimated that by 2050, hundreds ofmillions of people may be displaced as aresult of environmental changes.15

In areas affected by landslide, flood,cyclone or tsunami, people are typicallyevacuated inland as urban migrants. Inthese cases, the UN’s Guiding Principles forInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) providenormative assistance and protection forthese people. 16

For those in areas facing a high risk fromrising sea levels, loss of territory may bepermanent and may require migrationacross national borders. In such cases, aninternational law is needed to address theplight of individuals and wholecommunities who may be renderedstateless. In order for this to happen, aclear definition will be required for theterm ‘environmental migrant’.

An additional issue related to migration isthe often cited link between climate

change and conflict. Climate changeimpact may push populations to migrateto other areas in search of more securelivelihoods. The arrival of migrants mayincrease competition for resources andservices, as well as alter the ethniccomposition in host communities,resulting in tensions that escalate intoviolence. In order to reduce possiblefuture conflicts, governments need toacknowledge the importance of goodnatural resource management andimplement such measures within theirnational borders. Furthermore, room fordialogue needs to be enhanced betweenneighbouring countries so that regionalprogrammes can be implemented.

Climate change also has a serious impacton health, compromising food securityand causing more deaths and injuries as aresult of storms and floods. Scarcity ofwater, which is essential for hygiene – aswell as excess water due to more frequentand torrential rainfall – are increasing theburden of diarrhoeal disease, which isspread through contaminated food andwater.

Heat waves, especially in urban centres,cause deaths and exacerbate diseases,mainly in elderly people withcardiovascular or respiratory disease. In2003, 37,000 people who could notescape brutal heat waves died in Europe.Changing temperatures and patterns ofrainfall are expected to alter thegeographical distribution of insect vectorsthat spread such infectious diseases asmalaria and dengue fever.17

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Kenya’s pastoralists depend on cattle,but frequent droughts decimate herds

and livelihoods.astrid De Valon/trócaire

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Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | �

in the amazon region of Brazil, yams are an importantpart of people’s diet but they are becoming harder togrow under the increasingly fierce sun.

“We need yams for porridge for breakfast but we don’thave enough,” says maria Ferreira.

“Before, we planted yams in the shade or sun and theyall grew well. When the sun is so hot it’s not good forthe earth. Before, the grass was always green. thefootball pitch is now yellow. it’s so dry.”

Falling harvests are an indication of how climatechange will threaten livelihoods. as temperatures rise,maria and others in her village leave earlier for work inthe fields. sometimes they have to stop working byten in the morning because it is too hot.

as food and water become scarcer, Caritas is helpingindigenous communities map their resources andcampaign to raise awareness about the harmfuleffects of climate change.

Caritas Brazil meanwhile has been giving emergencyhelp in the north of Brazil where towns and villageshave been flooded out. the national Caritas is alsogiving education and support to help villages copewith water shortages in the semi-arid parts of thecountry.

Water, either too much or too little, is causing massivedisruption to people’s lives in Brazil.

Rising temperatures in Brazil

Climate change is takinghold in Brazil’s Amazon and

semi-arid regions.marcella Haddad/CaFOD (top)

Caritas Brazil (left)

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If it is to give a credible response to theecological crisis, Christian action needsto be based on a profound knowledgeof the sources establishing its identity.Foremost among these sources is theBible, which for Christians is “thesource of revelation and the basis oftheir faith”.18 That said, Bible texts donot offer any directive norms on howto handle the issues of destruction ofthe environment and climate change.The dangers we now face wereunknown in Biblical times. Thishistorical distance must be borne inmind when we consider the issues ofour time in the light of Biblical texts.The Bible is not a manual on morality,but it forms a point of reference thatassures us of our identity and providesa basis for Christian debate on theseissues.


The starting point for all Christian activityis the Biblical notion of the world ascreation. Christian responsibility for theenvironment begins with appreciation ofthe goodness of all God’s creation. In thebeginning, “God looked at everything hehad made, and he found it very good”(Gen 1,31).

The creation story, as narrated in the bookof Genesis, obliges us to treat God’s workresponsibly. God creates men and womenin his image, and calls on them to takecare of the Earth accordingly (Gen 1,27-28). Of all God’s creations, men andwomen are therefore challenged in aspecial way to take responsibility forcreation19. Nevertheless, they are not theCreator; they are a part of this creation,not its master. Pope Benedict XVI clarifiedthe position:

“To the extent that the Earth wasconsidered God’s creation, the duty of‘subjecting’ was never understood asan order to make it a slave, but ratheras a duty of being a custodian ofcreation and developing its gifts; ofcollaborating ourselves in an activeway in God’s work, in the evolutionthat God placed in the world, so thatthe gifts of creation are prized and nottrampled upon or destroyed.”20

Between flood and rainbow

The fragility of the human family’s God-given responsibility to care for creation isevident in prehistory. Nature isexperienced by men and women asunpredictable and full of dangers (Gen

3,17-19). They are not able to fulfil theirresponsibility as keepers of this order. Butthere is a new beginning, with Godconcluding a covenant with His peoplefollowing the Flood (Gen 9). This newworld order takes account of thecompeting relationship between thehuman family and the animals.Henceforth, men and women arepermitted to kill animals for food (Gen 9,3).But, on the other hand, they are heldresponsible for creation, in a moreextended manner, and they still are notgiven any unrestricted power of disposalover it (Gen 9,5-7).

In many other Old Testament texts, onecan find references to the understandingof the world as creation, for instance in thePsalms or in the Book of Job, where God

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Biblical principles

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reveals the greatness of his works.Common to all of these is the notion ofthe shared presence of God in Hiscreation, which is a gift that has beenfreely given. Men and women are to acton Earth as custodians and shepherds.They hold a responsibility for creation intrust, and are to “cultivate and take care” ofit (Gen 2,15). However, the ultimateknowledge of creation, its origin andstarting-point lies with God (Job 38-39).

The Message of the Kingdom of God

The notion of the world as creation that is

intrinsic to the Old Testament is also takenas a given in the New Testament: forinstance, Jesus proclaims that theKingdom of God is close at hand (Mk 1,15)and with it the message that salvation isalready present alongside the reality ofcreation and life, but simultaneously, in amysterious way, hidden and repeatedly tobe sought afresh.21 The world, despite allits conflict and ambivalence, is creation,the place of the redemptive influence ofChrist and the start of the Kingdom ofGod.

“In nature, the believer recognises thewonderful result of God’s creativeactivity, which we may use responsiblyto satisfy our legitimate needs,material or otherwise, whilerespecting the intrinsic balance ofcreation. If this vision is lost, we endup either considering nature anuntouchable taboo or, on thecontrary, abusing it. Neither attitude isconsonant with the Christian vision ofnature as the fruit of God’s creation.”22

Christian and ethical reflection

The Bible does not offer any concrete rulesfor dealing with climate policy. Seekingguidance from Biblical texts does notdispense with a need for sensiblejustification of ethical standards. Christianpositions which seek to be conveyedconvincingly in a pluralist society need togive an account of the initial thinkingwhich informs them and to bring this intoa fruitful dialogue with other disciplines.Moral insight can only call for those thingswhich prove compatible with commonsense and appropriate to the context.There is therefore a need for matchingnormative criteria. One approach for this isoffered by the principles of social ethics.

Human Dignity: The Christian narrative

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | ��

BlessedtreasuresThomas John Carlisle

Help us to harnessthe wind,the water,the sun,and all the readyand renewable sources of power.

teach us to conserve,preserve,use wiselythe blessed treasuresof our wealth-stored earth.

Help us to shareyour bounty,not to waste it,or pervert itinto perilfor our childrenor our neighboursin other nations

You who are lifeand energyand blessing,teach us to revereand respectyour tender world.


Worshippers at a CatholicChurch near Kampala in

Uganda offer maize insteadof money during collection

at Mass.David snyder

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revealing God’s creation of men andwomen “in the image of God”, is also to befound in the philosophical discussion ofthe human person. Common to bothconcepts is the attribution of dignity tothe human person, as an unconditionalvalue which precludes any exploitation.An understanding of this kind, as is also tobe found in the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights, must contribute towards aconsideration of climate change. Respectfor human dignity is a central value in theChristian tradition. It encompasses thewhole person in all her or his dimensionsand includes the right to life and itssanctity at all stages. Climate change andits results threaten the basic right of allhuman persons to life today and in futuregenerations.

“Our mistreatment of the naturalworld diminishes our own dignity andsacredness, not only because we aredestroying resources that futuregenerations of humans need, butbecause we are engaging in actionsthat contradict what it means to behuman. Our tradition calls us toprotect the life and dignity of thehuman person, and it is increasinglyclear that this task cannot beseparated from the care and defenceof all of creation.”23

Solidarity and the common good: Inthe Catholic tradition, the universalcommon good is specified by the duty ofsolidarity, “a firm and perseveringdetermination to commit oneself to thecommon good”, a willingness “to ‘loseoneself’ for the sake of the other instead ofexploiting them.”24 In the face of “thestructures of sin”, moreover, solidarityrequires sacrifices of our own self-interestfor the good of others and of the Earth weshare.

Solidarity places special obligations uponindustrial democracies. “The ecologicalcrisis,” Pope John Paul II wrote, “reveals theurgent moral need for a new solidarity,especially in relations between thedeveloping nations and those that arehighly industrialised.”25 Working for thecommon good requires us to promote theflourishing of all human life and all ofGod’s creation. In a special way, thecommon good requires solidarity with thepoor who are often without the resourcesto face many problems, including thepotential impacts of climate change. Ourobligations to the one human familystretch across space and time. They tie usto the poor in our midst and across theglobe, as well as to future generations. Thecommandment to love our neighbourinvites us to consider the poor andmarginalised of other nations as true

brothers and sisters who share with us theone table of life intended by God for theenjoyment of all.

All nations share the responsibility toaddress the problem of global climatechange. But historically the industrialeconomies have been responsible for thehighest emissions of greenhouse gasesthat scientists suggest are causing thewarming trend. Also, significant wealth,technological sophistication andentrepreneurial creativity give thesenations a greater capacity to find usefulresponses to this problem. To avoidgreater impact, energy resourceadjustments must be made both in thepolicies of richer countries and in thedevelopment paths of poorer ones.

The principles of solidarity and thecommon good remind us that we are allresponsible for each other and must workfor social conditions that ensure that allpeople and groups in society are able to

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Bringing food to floodvictims in India.

Caritas india

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meet their needs and realise theirpotential. Every group in society shouldtake into account the rights andaspirations of other groups, and thewellbeing of the whole human family. 26

Pope John Paul II said, “We cannotinterfere in one area of the ecosystemwithout paying due attention both to theconsequences of such interference inother areas and to the wellbeing of futuregenerations.”27 Responses to globalclimate change should reflect ourinterdependence and commonresponsibility for the future of our planet.Individual nations must measure theirown self-interest against the greatercommon good and contribute equitablyto global solutions.

Subsidiarity: Most people will agree thatwhile the current use of fossil fuels hasfostered and continues to fostersubstantial economic growth,development and benefits for many, thereis a legitimate concern that as developingcountries improve their economies andemit more greenhouse gases, they willneed technological help to mitigatefurther atmospheric environmental harm.Many of the poor in these countries live indegrading and desperate situations thatoften lead them to adopt environmentallyharmful agricultural and industrialpractices. In many cases, the heavy debtburdens, lack of trade opportunities andeconomic inequities in the global marketadd to the environmental strains of thepoorer countries. Developing countrieshave a right to economic developmentthat can help lift people out of direpoverty.

Wealthier industrialised nations have theresources, know-how andentrepreneurship to produce moreefficient cars and cleaner industries. These

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | ��

The CCUSA volunteersprogramme in Louisiana,where Hurricane Katrina

struck in 2005.laura sikes/CCusa

Climate Change: Why ShouldCatholic Charities Care?By Robert Gorman, executive Director of Catholic social services in theDiocese of Houma-thibodaux, louisiana, usa.

Climate changes are already occurring here on the low-lying coast ofsouth louisiana. my home is �� miles inland, but is only inches abovesea level. the Gulf of mexico creeps closer each year because of erosionand subsidence of the wetlands and barrier islands, rising sea levels,and more intense hurricanes. the poorest members of our communitieslive right on the Gulf and their homes have already flooded many timesover. People call Catholic Charities (CCusa is a member of Caritasinternationalis) every day for assistance, and Catholic Charities agenciesthroughout south louisiana have spent tens of millions of dollars justsince Hurricanes Katrina and Rita helping people in their disasterrecovery.

Catholic Charities has a moral obligation to protect the life and dignityof each person and the established communities in which they havebuilt their lives. We have a powerful network through which we canprovide social services to people most vulnerable to the effects ofclimate change. We have a prophetic voice for justice that needs to raiseclimate change concerns to our statehouses, Congress, and the WhiteHouse. ultimately, our role is difficult because we are stewards of aworld that is not our own. We are part of the biblical covenantobligating us to care for all of God’s living creatures. if we believe thatGod is present in us and to us in all that we see and experience, then wemust embrace the role of the good steward—a role that CatholicCharities in its commitment to the common good takes seriously as itfinds its voice in the climate change debate.

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countries need to share these emergingtechnologies with the less-developedcountries and assume more of thefinancial responsibility that would enablepoorer countries to afford them. Thiswould help developing countries adoptenergy-efficient technologies morerapidly while still sustaining healthyeconomic growth and development.Industries from the developed countriesoperating in developing nations shouldexercise a leadership role in preserving theenvironment.

No strategy to confront global climatechange will succeed without theleadership and participation of the UnitedStates and other industrial nations. But anysuccessful strategy must also reflect thegenuine participation and concerns ofthose most affected and least able to bearthe burdens. Developing and poorernations must have a genuine place at thenegotiating table. Genuine participationfor those most affected is a moral andpolitical necessity for advancing thecommon good.28

Only with equitable and sustainabledevelopment can poor nations curbcontinuing environmental degradationand avoid the destructive effects of thekind of overdevelopment that has usednatural resources irresponsibly.29 Poorcountries need empowerment, and thatmeans helping the poor to helpthemselves.

Sustainability: The problem of climatechange is, above all, a question ofsustainability. The principle ofsustainability has its starting-point inresponsibility for future generations, forunless there is adequate protection ofnatural resources in the medium and longterm, no life worthy of human dignity ispossible on Earth.

The first to suffer from climate change arethe poorest countries and their citizens.Here, the challenge is to make theChristian Option for the Poor a strongreality. It is a structural injustice that thosewho have contributed least to theproblem of climate change, because theylive in less developed and lessindustrialised regions, are the first to feelthe effects. Without ecologicalsustainability, successes in the fightagainst poverty can only be of limitedduration. Sustainability is thereforeincluded in the UN MillenniumDevelopment Goals for combatingpoverty, because climate change affectsthe poorest in particular and alsoexacerbates poverty. Unrestrainedeconomic development is not the answerto improving the lives of the poor.Catholic Social Teaching has neveraccepted material growth as a model ofdevelopment. A “mere accumulation ofgoods and services, even for the benefit ofthe majority,” as Pope John Paul II said, “isnot enough for the realisation of humanhappiness.”30

Climate change is, however, not just aproblem for the poor – it affects all peopleand the basis on which they are able toconduct their lives, as well as futuregenerations. Sustainability is therefore alsoa question of responsibility towardscreation, which is simultaneously the basisfor global and intergenerational justice. Inour use of the environment “we have aresponsibility towards the poor, towardsfuture generations and towards humanityas a whole”.31

In spite of the degree of certainty that hasbeen reached about the problem ofclimate change, we still have to act in themidst of uncertainty, because the speedand strength of climate change in thecoming years and decades, as well as its

regional effects, cannot be accuratelyforecast.

“The principle of foresight is adecision-making aid which lowersrisks and protects the natural meansof livelihood for future generations.[…] In addition to the principle thatthe party responsible is liable fordamages and the precautionaryprinciple, the Christian point of viewalso calls for the principle ofproportionality: the good cause –environmental protection for thegood of mankind and creation – doesnot always justify the means […] i.e.any harm caused may not be greaterthan its achieved benefit.”32

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Authentic development supportsmoderation and even austerity in the useof material resources. It also encourages abalanced view of human progressconsistent with respect for nature.Furthermore, it invites the development ofalternative visions of the good society andthe use of economic models with richerstandards of wellbeing than materialproductivity alone. Authenticdevelopment also requires affluentnations to seek ways to reduce andrestructure their over-consumption ofnatural resources. Finally, authenticdevelopment also entails encouraging theproper use of both agricultural andindustrial technologies, so thatdevelopment does not merely mean

technological advancement for its ownsake but rather that technology benefitspeople and enhances the land.33

An elder surveys hisscorched crops after failedrains in Northern Uganda

in 2009.Patrick Nicholson/Caritas

Caritas supports farmers inHaiti after the deadly 2008

hurricane season.David snyder/Caritas

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The Caritas confederation is becomingincreasingly involved in efforts tomitigate the effects of climate change.Many Caritas members in high incomecountries have launched educationand awareness campaigns that urgereduction of individual and householdcarbon footprints. Such campaigns areoften also linked to advocacyinitiatives aimed at pressuringgovernments to commit to a strongpost-2012 agreement under the UnitedNations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC) that bindsindustrialised countries to strongemission reduction targets and toadaptation funding for developingcountries, as well as finance and

technology transfers for low-carboneconomic development. As aconfederation of humanitarian anddevelopment organisations, however,Caritas is particularly concerned withthe impacts of climate change on theworld’s poor and ensuring they havethe resources to adapt to the changesthat are already taking place.

The long experience of Caritas ingrassroots development is particularlyuseful in designing and implementingprogrammes to help human andecological systems to adapt to climatechange. Climate change adaptationinterventions should look beyond thecurrent climatic variability and anticipate

future changes. This often involves theinput of technical knowledge that requirescollaboration with other agencies thathave specialist expertise. For example,Caritas Bangladesh works in collaborationwith the Bangladesh Centre for AdvancedStudies to design and implementprogrammes in areas that are drought-prone and affected by high water salinity.

In the Philippines and Kenya, CatholicRelief Services (a Caritas member in theUSA) works with the World AgroforestryCentre on land-care initiatives that includecarbon sequestration and carbon credits.This latter project combines existingexpertise in Disaster Risk Reduction anddevelopment methodologies and lays thegroundwork for new livelihood initiativesin carbon credits and Reduced Emissionsfrom Deforestation and Degradation(REDD). Capacity building activities arealso taking place throughout CentralAmerica, Mexico and Panama, wheretechnical staff are being trained in bestpractices to deal with climate changeissues with the support and activeparticipation of Caritas members inMexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala,Nicaragua and Panama.

Disaster preparedness and risk reductioncan dramatically reduce loss of life andinfrastructure. In Bangladesh, Caritas hasbeen involved in building cyclone sheltersand training communities in disasterpreparedness and risk reduction. As aresult, more resilient communities havedeveloped with better preparedness skillsto cope with cyclones. In 1991, a cyclonewith wind speeds of up to 240 km/hstruck Bangladesh, causing more than

�� | Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic

Caritas in action

Preparing for disaster inOrissa, India.

Jennine Carmichael/CRs

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140,000 deaths. But in 2007, the death tollfrom Cyclone Sidr, with even strongerwinds of up to 260 km/h, was reduced to3,400, thanks to the work of thegovernment and aid agencies like Caritas.”

Caritas also promotes traditional systemsand practices that support theenvironment and converge modernscience with traditional ecologicalknowledge. For instance, in Africa’s Sahelregion, local farmers have developedintricate systems of gathering, prediction,interpretation and decision-making inrelation to weather, which help them tomanage their vulnerability to climatechange.

Farmers are known to make decisions oncropping patterns based on local climatepredictions, and decisions on plantingdates based on complex cultural modelsof weather. Farmers in the Sahel alsoconserve water in soil through practicessuch as zero tillage, mulching and othersoil management techniques. Communalforest reserves are often a very importantresource in traditional societies, providingfood, timber and other livelihoodopportunities. Caritas Madre de Dios inPerú is working with communities andlocal government to control deforestationin Southern Amazonia.

In India’s Orissa state, Catholic ReliefServices is building local capacities torespond to emergencies and mitigate theimpacts of climate-related hazards bystrengthening self-help groups andorganising task forces to deliver first aid,plan evacuation routes and safe shelters,protect clean water sources, save grainand cash in preparation for the cycloneseason, formulate sustainable crop andland use plans, and repair and constructwater harvesting structures andembankments.

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | ��

Green shoots in NigerCaritas Niger (CaDeV) and its partners believe that by diversifying foodsources and developing alternative sources of income, people are notleft completely exposed to the harsh effects of climate disruption.

as the sahara desert slowly creeps across Niger, turning fertile land intosand, one of the last things you’d expect to see growing is a lettuce.

"We grew up in a culture of millet," says Habibou abarishi. millet alonedoesn’t offer a balanced diet and the ready supply keeps prices low intimes of good harvest. But a CRs (a Caritas member in the usa) projectin western Niger, has helped people such as Habibou grow lettuce andother vegetables to feed their family and earn some money in a time ofglobal recession.

Niger and much of the sahel region remains acutely vulnerable todrought and food shortages. in ���5, a mixture of failed rains, locustdamage, high food prices and chronic poverty left over three millionpeople in Niger facing a food crisis.

the Caritas sahel Working Group has set up an early warning system toalert people to drought so they can store food and be prepared to reactand avert future hunger crises. Caritas Niger has also set up communalfood banks and feeding centres for malnourished children.

Gilbért Wellindé, Caritas Niger’s field co-ordinator, says: “a communalbank is better than individual storage because there is a committee tomanage it. each member of the community gives what they can affordafter the harvest. With individual banks, people tend to use up theirsupplies more quickly, and some have more than others.”

Habibou Abarishi weeds hislettuce plot in Niger.

lane Hartill/CRs

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Caritas Malawi (CADECOM) encouragescrop diversification to reduce reliance on asingle rainy season, promotes use oflivestock to vary the sources of food andincome available to households andpromotes simple irrigation techniques forimproved agricultural input.

Caritas Kenya promotes resilience indrought-prone semi-arid areas by plantingdrought resistant seeds that canwithstand weather variations. Projects inHoma Bay are designed to combine dairyfarming with bio-gas production, theresidue of which is used for organicfarming.

Throughout the Caritas network, the

sharing of best practices is beingencouraged. Caritas Brazil, for example,sponsors workshops on approaches tosustainable agriculture processes andimplements projects to improve foodsecurity among landless peasants. CaritasIndia works with Diocesan Social Servicesocieties to better integrate climatechange considerations into localprogramme planning.

Although Caritas and others in thehumanitarian community demonstrateincreased capacity to prepare for andrespond to disasters, an exponentialincrease in climate-related disasters couldundermine efforts to assist people to liftthemselves out of poverty. Caritas

agencies work to strengthen these copingmechanisms through interventions innatural resource management,sustainable agriculture, improved waterand sanitation measures and communitymanaged risk reduction programmes.

Caritas supports partners with thetechnical assistance required to conductresearch, in collaboration with experts inthe field and with local universities. Theseefforts are aimed at assisting the poor indealing with the humanitarianconsequences of climate change. Theresearch provides people with facts andfigures about the expected frequency,magnitude and timing of climate changeimpacts so that they can make informed

�� | Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic

Caritas projects in Lebanon(left), Sri Lanka (top), and

Zambia (right).David snyder/Caritas (left and top)

sean sprague/CRs (right)

Page 19: Climate Justice - Caritas

decisions. Additional collaborativeinitiatives span a wide range of issues,including adaptation technology,renewable energy, food security andenvironmentally-induced conflicts.

In order to build an effective combinedfront at all levels, synergy has to begenerated between civil society,government and the private sector, andacross development sectors. Partnershipand networking among like-mindedagencies will provide room for sharingand create a greater impact in addressingclimate change concerns.

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | ��

India adaptsschoolgirl shweta easther marandi realised one day that by changingtheir household bulbs to leD and compact fluorescent lights, her familycould reduce its carbon footprint. then she encouraged her schoolfriends and her community. Finally she spoke about it with the media.

shweta is part of the tarumitra environmental organisation whichreceives funding and programme support from Caritas. this is oneexample of how Caritas india encourages people of all ages and allwalks of life to take climate change into their own hands.

as the subcontinent becomes increasingly vulnerable to floods,droughts, sea erosion and other disasters, one thing has become clearto Caritas india: to make significant impact on the effects of climatechange, it has to go right to the root causes.

this means not just focusing on providing relief once a disaster hasstruck, but preparing communities to take a look at their practices andbecome more proactive so the impact of any calamity is lessened.

Caritas india has set up the Cesss – the Centre for environmentalstudies in social sector – to teach small farmers about programmeswhich promote sustainable agriculture.

in indian legends, there was a magical tree that could grant wishes. itseems only appropriate that Caritas india has adopted the tree as thesymbol of its campaign to combat climate change and is calling onsupporters to plant a tree to show their support. Climate change is apart of the long term development plans of Caritas india.

Caritas india

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Putting people first: How Caritasadvocacy influences international,regional and national policies

“Faced with the widespreaddestruction of the environment,people everywhere are coming tounderstand that we cannot continueto use the goods of the Earth as wehave in the past…[A] new ecologicalawareness is beginning toemerge…The ecological crisis is amoral issue.”34

– Pope John Paul II

Effective action in response to climatechange must include changes inindividual and community behaviour.These must respect the integrity ofcreation and offer special assistance to thepoor and vulnerable, who sufferdisproportionately from the effects ofclimate change. It is the responsibility ofall Christians and people of goodwill toshow solidarity with the poor andvulnerable by supporting effective policiesand action, at local, national, regional andglobal levels through strategic andspecific advocacy initiatives.

Caritas advocates for policies that trulywork towards the common good. We seekstrategies that put people at the heart ofefforts to address climate change, byadopting appropriate mitigation andadaptation policies focused on those whoare most vulnerable.

Our response to the suffering of thosemost affected by climate change involvesnot only humanitarian relief but alsoeffective action to denounce unfairstructures and policies that result in socialinjustice and human suffering. Caritas istherefore strongly committed to workingwith present and potential victims ofclimate change to present their cases to

all relevant national, regional andinternational institutions.

Action at the international level

UN Framework Convention on ClimateChange (UNFCCC): Caritas Internationalishas been involved in exerting increasedpressure on policy and decision makersengaged in the United NationsFramework Convention on ClimateChange (UNFCCC) to ensure an equitableand binding post-2012 global agreementat Copenhagen in December 2009. A jointCaritas Internationalis and CIDSEcampaign entitled ‘Grow Climate Justice’mobilised a coalition of 170 Catholicorganisations to support this cause. 35

Human rights based approach and theresponsibility to protect: As underlined

in a recent study submitted by the UnitedNations Office of the High Commissionerfor Human Rights36, climate change willhave implications for the enjoyment of awide range of human rights, such as therights to safe drinking water, to food, tohealth, and to adequate housing. Thethreat to human rights presented byclimate change places an obligation uponnation states to protect their citizensagainst the adverse impacts of climatechange by taking effective mitigation andadaptation measures. International humanrights law also requires states to ensurethat such measures do not themselvesviolate other human rights.

How can national Caritas organisations beinvolved in such global advocacy? Giventhe daily work of Caritas with poor andvulnerable people and its long experience

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Putting people first

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from global to grassroots levels, Caritascan actively voice the concerns of themost vulnerable people through variousUN human rights mechanisms, such asHuman Rights Special Procedures, treatybodies and the Universal Periodic Review.

Caritas Internationalis can bring specificimpact issues to the attention of HumanRights Special Rapporteurs, who could beinvited to visit Caritas mitigation andadaptation projects in order to share these‘best practices’. Caritas can also work withtreaty bodies (or UN Committees)responsible for monitoring theimplementation of obligations assumedby State parties, to seek consideration ofthe impact of climate change on humanrights. Subsequent reports andrecommendations could serve as effectivetools to promote changes in national

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | ��

Australiansaspire to begreenthis year Caritas australialaunched a new initiative, theBe more Challenge. inspiredby the words of archbishopOscar Romero 'aspire not tohave more, but to be more',the Be more Challengeencourages australians totake action forenvironmental and socialjustice by settingthemselves 5 challenges – personal, family,local, national and global.

members of the online community also participate in an annual event –Be more Weekend, which took place for the first time from the � - �august ����. Over �,��5 people from across australia committedthemselves, to 'be just. be green. be more' for three days.

actions included:

• families putting away the car keys and choosing public transport,getting dirty in their local parks by clearing rubbish, conducting afamily audit to assess the impact of their daily actions, turning off thetV and playing the Be more board game to learn more about theimpacts of global poverty and climate change;

• schools turning off their lights and teaching outdoors, plantingvegetable gardens, having no waste days, Be more camp outs withminimal materials and food;

• parishes having parish picnics and forums about climate change andconsumption.

a number of participants donated the money they saved on cuttingconsumption to Caritas australia to assist climate change adaptationprograms in Bangladesh and programs in countries that are working tobuild community resilience to a changing climate, such as naturalresource management in india, sustainable agriculture in africa, anddisaster risk reduction in Pacific islands.

all of these creative actions were taken with a consciousness of ourresponsibility to act for climate justice and to ensure that australia takesinitiative on mitigation.

Caritas australia

The launch of the GrowClimate Justice campaign

at UN talks in Poznan.Caritas

Environmental education isvital in flood-hit

Bangladesh.andreas schwaiger

/Caritas switzerland

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legislation on mitigation and adaptationresponses. Finally, the UN UniversalPeriodic Review, which aims to identifyhuman rights violations in UN memberstates, could be an important tool topromote appropriate mitigation andadaptation policies.

Other UN agencies and institutions suchas the International Labour Organisation(ILO), the High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), the World Health Organisation(WHO), are also actively involved intackling the impact of climate change.These agencies contribute, within therespective area of expertise andmandates, to the UNFCCC negotiationprocess.

Action at the regional, national andlocal levels

“Seeing the suffering of our brothersand sisters […] we are moved torespond to the poverty and inequalitycaused by a development based onenvironmentally unsustainableeconomic activities, the improper useof natural resources and increasingunplanned urbanisation thatendanger the people who suffer fromdisasters, all of which is aggravated bythe effect of global warming.”– Declaration by Caritas members in

Latin America and the Caribbean,Third Regional Workshop onEnvironment, Risk Management andEmergencies (Lima, October 2008).

In order to respond to these disturbingtrends, Caritas agencies are building theirunderstanding of climate change and itsimpacts through various initiatives. CaritasIndia organised a climate changeconference in September 2008 and hasembarked on a capacity building initiativeat the local level to better integrate

climate change considerations in itsplanning.

The Siyabhabha Trust (Caritas South Africa)is looking at how existing local copingstrategies can inform climate resiliencestrategies. Caritas members from LatinAmerica and the Caribbean held aworkshop in October 2008 onenvironment, risk management andemergencies and developedrecommendations for the climate justicecampaign. Caritas organisations areworking to ensure that the priorities of thepoor are included in plans for mitigatingand adapting to climate change.

Caritas members are engaged ineducational and capacity-building effortsto become more effective advocates, atthe local and regional levels, to addressthe impact of climate change in theirrespective communities. For example,during 2008, Caritas Peru organisedworkshops with the participation ofCaritas staff, in order to prioritiseproblems, formulate strategic objectivesand recommend appropriate measuresagainst the negative effects of climatechange.

Catholic Relief Services works with other

Catholic organisations to challengeCatholics in the USA to live their faith byrecognising the links between theiractions and their impact on others aroundthe globe. The CRS campaign promotesthe following messages:

• Climate change is a moral issue thatdemands our action. Care for the poorand acting for the common good aretwo principles of Catholic Social Teachingthat obligate us to address this issue.

• Climate change is a global relief anddevelopment issue.

• Climate change is unquestionably aglobal solidarity issue.

• Education programmes can show peoplewhat they can do to:

– Encourage prayer and thoughtfulconsideration of the links betweencare of creation and lifestyle choices

– Reduce their carbon footprint athome, in their parishes and at work

– Educate others– Advocate with legislators, policy

makers, business leaders– Donate to programmes to mitigate

their contribution to climate change,and help people overseas adapt toits consequences.37

The Commission of Catholic Bishops’

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Stick people outside theScottish parliament.


Page 23: Climate Justice - Caritas

Conference of the European Community(COMECE) emphasises the role of civilsociety bodies such as non-governmentalorganisations, foundations, grassrootsmovements, churches and faith-basedorganisations to interact withgovernments and market forces toachieve ‘eco-efficiency’ (doing more andbetter with less). They also support ‘eco-justice’ initiatives such as eco-incentivesand eco-taxes, in addition to directregulation. The bishops further remark on“the ability of civil society to enlist politicalassistance from the grass-roots up, inrelation to both quality of lifeimprovements and the directparticipation of local, national, andinternational communities in the choiceof development strategies.”38

Many Caritas agencies are interacting withother networks to promote awareness ofclimate change and build advocacystrategies to combat climate change. Anumber of Caritas members (includingCaritas Australia, Caritas Aotearoa NewZealand, CAFOD (Caritas England andWales), Caritas Bangladesh and CaritasKenya) are members of national andregional Climate Action Networks that areactive in mobilising civil society indemanding stronger commitments fromgovernments in the UNFCCC process toforge a strong agreement in combatingclimate change. Caritas Kenya is amember of the Kenya Climate ChangeWorking Group that is composed of allcivil society organisations working in thearea of climate change in Kenya. Thecoalition aims to research, createawareness and contribute towardsnational legislation on climate change.

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | ��

Caritas Germany

View from EuropeOn �� June ����, the scottish Parliament passed one of the world’smost ambitious climate change legislations – the scottish ClimateChange act. Finally, a country has agreed to do what is required toavoid dangerous climate change, as opposed to what is deemedpolitically possible.

this success represented the culmination of two years of hardcampaigning by the scottish Catholic international aid Fund (sCiaF –Caritas scotland), along with their colleagues in the stop Climate Chaoscoalition in scotland. thousands of sCiaF supporters then contactedtheir parliamentarians as part of a campaign that also involved formalsubmissions to parliament, lobby events and a concerted media drive.

meanwhile in austria, Caritas local groups took part in a day of actionwith churches across the country ringing bells and a “Climate Justicemarch” through Vienna from the Cathedral to the ministry of theenvironment.

and Caritas luxembourg chose twenty ordinary people to be part ofthe “��� Degrees Panel”, seeing for themselves the impact of climatechange in Bangladesh. On their return home they spread the messageof the impact of climate change, something that was brought home tothem in may ���� when Cyclone aila wiped out one of the villages thatthey had visited just three months earlier.

equipped with educational training and an eco-package containingeverything from energy-saving light bulbs to power switches thatautomatically turn off all energy use when leaving home, theunemployed throughoutGermany has been able tosubstantially reduce their energyconsumption thanks to a Caritascampaign. so far, the financialbenefits of this project hasspread throughout Germany,reaching over ��,��� people in5�� villages.

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�� | Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic


� Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Councilfor Justice and Peace, Vatican City: librería editrice Vaticana, ����,no. ���

� Pope Benedict XVi, Caritas in Veritate, no. ��, ����

� ibid, no. �

� Helm, Dieter, Environmental challenges in a warming world:consumption, costs and responsibilities, New College, Oxford,February ��, ����

5 ibid

� second synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, Chap � no. �, ����

� Pope Benedict XVi, Caritas in Veritate, no. 5�, ����

� ibid, no. 5�

� Campbell-lendrum, Diarmid, Foley, Jonathan a., Holloway, tracey, &Patz, Jonathan a., Impact of regional climate change on humanhealth, Nature issue ���, pgs ���-���, November ��, ���5

�� intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007:The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers, Working Groupi, Fourth assessment Report, Geneva, ����

�� Changing Lives – Climate Change in Developing Worlds, trocaire,Dublin, ����

�� Nell’occhio del ciclone, Caritas italiana, società editrice il mulino,Bologna, ����

�� inter-agency standing Committee, letter to the united NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change, april ����

�� ibid

�5 myers, Norman, Environmental refugees: an emergent security issue,the ��th economic Forum, Prague, ���5

�� the Guiding Principles on internal Displacement includes thosewho have been displaced by “natural or human-made disasters”.uNHCR

�� World Health Organisation, statement by WHO Director-General Dr.margaret Chan, The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health,april �, ����

�� Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Bible and Morality. Biblical Rootsof Christian Conduct, German secretariat of the German Council ofBishops, Bonn, ����

�� A la Recherche d’une Ethique Universelle: Nouveau Regard sur la LoiNaturelle, Commission theologique internationale, Rome, ����

�� Pope Benedict XVi, meeting with the clergy of the Diocese ofBolzano-Bressanone, august �, ����,http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/����/august/index_en.htm

�� Handeln für die Zukunft der Schöpfung, the General secretariat ofthe German Bishops’ Conference, No. ��, Bonn, ����

�� Pope Benedict XVi, Caritas in Veritate, no. ��, ����

�� the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops, An Invitation toReflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic SocialTeaching, a Pastoral statement of the united states CatholicConference, November ��, ����

�� Pope John Paul ii, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, no. ��, ����

�5 Pope John Paul ii, Peace with God the creator, peace with all ofcreations, message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace,no. ��, January �, ����

�� the australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, A New Earth – TheEnvironmental Challenge, australian Catholic Bishops statement onthe environment, the social Justice sunday statement for ����,����

�� Pope John Paul ii, Peace with God the creator, peace with all ofcreations, message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace,no. �, January �, ����

�� the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global ClimateChange: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, astatement of the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops

�� the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops, An Invitation toReflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic SocialTeaching, a Pastoral statement of the united states CatholicConference, no. ��, November ��, ����

�� Pope John Paul ii, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, no. ��, ����

�� Pope Benedict XVi, Caritas in Veritate, no. ��, ����

�� the General secretariat of German Bishops’ Conference, ClimateChange: A Focal Point of Global, Intergenerational and EcologicalJustice, no. ��/��, (Commission for society and socialaffairs/Commission for international Church affairs: ��), Bonn, ����

�� the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops, An Invitation toReflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic SocialTeaching, a Pastoral statement of the united states CatholicConference, no. ��, November ��, ����

�� message Of His Holiness Pope John Paul ii for the Celebration of theWorld Day Of Peace, Peace With God The Creator, Peace With all OfCreation, January �, ����

�5 CiDse (Coopération internationale pour le Développement et lasolidarité) is an international alliance of �� Catholic developmentagencies

�� Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of theunited Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on therelationship between climate change and human rights(a/HRC/��/��), January �5, ����

�� Catholic Relief services, Climate Change and Global Solidarity,unpublished, p. ��, not dated

�� secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of theeuropean Community (COmeCe), A Christian View on ClimateChange: The Implications of Climate Change for Lifestyles and EUPolicies, a Report of the Bishops of COmeCe, October ����

Page 25: Climate Justice - Caritas

Climate JustiCe: seeking a global ethic | �5


A la Recherche d’une Ethique Universelle: Nouveau Regard sur la LoiNaturelle, Commission theologique internationale, Rome, ����

Campbell-lendrum, Diarmid, Foley, Jonathan a., Holloway, tracey, &Patz, Jonathan a., Impact of regional climate change on human health,Nature issue ���, November ��, ���5

Catholic Relief services, Climate Change and Global Solidarity,unpublished

Changing Lives – Climate Change in Developing Worlds, trócaire,Dublin, ����

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Council forJustice and Peace, Vatican City: librería editrice Vaticana, ����

Development and Climate Justice, CiDse, Belgium, November ����

Guidelines on Environmental Justice, submitted by Caritas OceaniaRegional Commission and approved by the Caritas internationalisexecutive Committee for Discussion and action by Caritas Regions,Rome, ���5

Helm, Dieter, Environmental challenges in a warming world:consumption, costs and responsibilities, New College, Oxford, February��, ����

inter-agency standing Committee, letter to the united NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change, april ����

intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007:The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers, Working Group i,Fourth assessment Report, Geneva, ����

myers, Norman, Environmental refugees: an emergent security issue,the ��th economic Forum, Prague, ���5

Nell’occhio del ciclone, Caritas italiana, società editrice il mulino,Bologna, ����

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of theunited Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on therelationship between climate change and human rights(a/HRC/��/��), January �5, ����

Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Bible and Morality. Biblical Roots ofChristian Conduct, the General secretariat of the German Conferenceof Bishops, Bonn, ����

Pope Benedict XVi, Caritas in Veritate, ����

Pope Benedict XVi, the occasion of a meeting with priest anddeacons on �th august ����

Pope John Paul ii, Peace with God the creator, peace with all ofcreations, message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace,no.�, January ����

Pope John Paul ii, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, ����

Reducing Vulnerability, Enhancing Resilience: The Importance ofAdaptation Technologies for the post-2012 Climate Agreement, CiDse &Caritas internationalis, Belgium, may ����

second synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, ����

secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of theeuropean Community (COmeCe), A Christian View on Climate Change:The Implications of Climate Change for Lifestyles and EU Policies, aReport of the Bishops of COmeCe, October ����

the australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, A New Earth – TheEnvironmental Challenge. australian Catholic Bishops statement onthe environment, the social Justice sunday statement for ����, ����

the General secretariat of the German Bishops’ Conference, ClimateChange: A Focal Point of Global, Intergenerational and EcologicalJustice, (Commission for society and social affairs/Commission forinternational Church affairs; ��), Bonn, ����

the General secretariat of the German Bishops’ Conference, Handelnfür die Zukunft der Schöpfung [Action for the Future of Creation – onlyavailable as a German-language document], (Commission for societyand social affairs; ��), Bonn, ����

the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops, An Invitation toReflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic SocialTeaching, a Pastoral statement of the united states CatholicConference, November ��, ����

the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global ClimateChange: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, astatement of the united states Conference of Catholic Bishops

World Health Organisation, The Impact of Climate Change on HumanHealth, statement by WHO Director-General Dr. margaret Chan, april�, ����

Page 26: Climate Justice - Caritas

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This working document is a collaborative venture containing contributions frommembers of the Caritas Internationalis Reference Group on Climate Justice.

Caritas Internationalis MembersCatholic Charities USA Kathy Brown

Robert GormanCatholic Relief Services Lane Hartill

William O’KeefeCaritas Aotearoa New Zealand Michael SmithCaritas Australia Ingvar AndaCaritas Austria Helene UnterguggenbergerCaritas Bangladesh Francis Atul SarkerCaritas Belgium Gauthier de LochtCaritas Brazil Mayrá LimaCaritas Denmark Jann SjursenCaritas England & Wales (CAFOD) Mike Edwards

Linda JonesCaritas Ethiopia (Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat) Daniel KeftassaCaritas France (Secours Catholique) Michel RoyCaritas Germany Bernhard Hallermann

Ulrike KostkaCaritas India Sunil SimonCaritas Ireland (Trócaire) Niamh GarveyCaritas Italiana Paolo BeccegatoCaritas Kenya Janet MangeraCaritas Latin America/Caribbean Fr Antonio SandovalCaritas Luxembourg Norry Schneider

Philippe WealerCaritas Peru Hector HanashiroCaritas Scotland (SCIAF) Chris HegartyCaritas South Africa Sr Aine HughesCaritas Spain Martin LagoCaritas Tonga Sr Senolita Vakata

Caritas Internationalis General SecretariatChristine CampeauMichelle HoughLesley-Anne KnightPatrick NicholsonFloriana PolitoMsgr Robert J Vitillo

Credit and thanks must also go to the Caritas Oceania Region, whosepioneering work on environmental justice has helped to raise awareness of theimportance of climate change throughout the confederation and provided muchof the impetus for our current work.

Paul Jeffrey/aCt-Caritas.

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