The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is disappointed by the decision to postpone the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26). And We understand completely the need to do so in light of considering the unprecedented global challenge we face, and the necessity for all of us to focus our efforts on saving lives and fighting COVID-19.
We trust that the leaders of the world will remember that while COVID-19 is the urgent threat facing humanity today, climate change is the existential threat facing humanity. Postponement of the COP26 event scheduled for November 2020 2021 in Glasgow cannot mean a postponement in our global commitment to meet the challenge of climate change.
With all people of good will, women religious acknowledge that climate is a common good given to all and for which we are all responsible. Each of us is called to cooperate with God to protect our common home and to care for all of God’s creation. We believe, with Pope Francis, that all nations have “a clear, definitive, and ineluctable ethical imperative to act” on climate change.
In his encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis, reminds us of our biblical call to live in right relationship and to cooperate with God’s design for our world. We call on the nations of the world to seek solutions to the climate crisis and we challenge all people to make personal and communal choices to protect Earth and all creatures who call this planet home.
We sincerely hope that once COVID-19 is vanquished and recovery begins, nation-states, and the global community, will take the necessary steps to ensure that the right of the most vulnerable to integral human development is fully realized, and that our leaders will seize the opportunity to shape a new economy in ways that are clean, healthy, just, and green.
In the words of Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi message we pray:
Lord, in this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”