In a joint statement, bishops of the USCCB expressed “hope” that the United States will become the global climate leader after President Biden decided to rejoin the Paris climate accords.
” It is our hope that the United States will not only seize this challenge to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, called for by the U.S. bishops in 2017, but also become the global climate leader by implementing successful policies that both preserve the environment and promote economic development through innovation, investment and enterprise,” they said.
It has been five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement, when Pope Francis encouraged “a culture of care, which places human dignity and the common good at the centre”.
“The environment and human beings everywhere, especially the poor and vulnerable,” they said, “stand to benefit from the care of our common home. For this reason, we urge the United States to do more to help poorer nations adapt to the changes in climate that cannot be prevented.”
They cited the Second Vatican Council’s assertion that “nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in the hearts of Christians.”
“Climate change is a genuine human concern that affects all peoples, and the decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement is an important step in the path of care for the environment and respect for the human family,” they concluded.
Since taking office, Biden has signed a series of executive orders to tackle climate change, which he described as an “existential threat”. He cancelled the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, bringing hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day from Canada to the US to be refined. Biden has also put a stop to developments at national monuments in Utah and New England. They were given protected status by President Obama in 2016.