The Environmental Pillar, which is made up of 28 Irish environmental NGOs, welcomes the stance taken by the Pontiff in his teaching today.
The encyclical entitled ‘Laudato Si’ calls on all nations to deal squarely with climate change, to phase out the use of fossil fuels and for the world’s rich nations to begin paying their ‘grave social debt’ to the poor.
Charles Stanley Smith, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar said:
“For the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to call so directly for action on climate change is a moment of immense significance.
“We hope that this call to action by the Pope will invigorate the Catholic Church to be a leader on climate action both in Ireland and around the world.
“In the encyclical Pope Francis identifies the indifference of the powerful and the shortsightedness of politicians for the failure to act on climate change. Environmentalists, both religious and secular, would agree implicitly with this.
“Also his focus on the impact of climate change on poorer nations echoes the calls of many civil society and environmental groups both in Ireland and internationally. The Environmental Pillar, among others, has called for the principle of Climate Justice to be written into Ireland’s Climate Change Bill. If Climate Justice was present in the bill it would enshrine our commitment to tackling the climate crisis not only for our own benefit for all of humanity.
“The Pontiff stated clearly that failure to act on climate change is a risk to our ‘common home’. We hope this message will have resonance and bring about a change in mindset that leads to real positive action.”