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Catholic organisations condemn US decision to withdraw from climate deal

Donald Trump announces his decision regarding the United States' participation in the Paris climate agreement (Getty images)

Leaders of Catholic organisations said President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change agreement snubs the needs of impoverished people around the world and eschews responsibility to begin addressing the causes of global warming.

A statement from the leaders of 11 organisations asked Trump to reconsider his action. They said Catholic teaching maintains that climate change is a “grave moral issue” that threatens commitments to protect human life, health, dignity and security, promote the common good, exercise a preferential option for the poor, living in solidarity with future generations, realize peace and care for creation.

“The international agreement of 2015 demonstrates that all nations will be impacted by a warming world and that all nations have a corresponding responsibility to limit greenhouse gas pollution causing climate change,” said a statement released through the Catholic Climate Covenant soon after Trump’s announcement.

“The Catholic Church recognizes that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions,” the statement said.

The signatories included leaders of Catholic Climate Covenant, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Franciscan Action Network, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, National Council of Catholic Women, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Catholic Charities USA, Carmelite NGO and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, also called Trump’s decision “deeply troubling.”

“The Scriptures affirm the value of caring for creation and caring for each other in solidarity. The Paris agreement is an international accord that promotes these values,” Bishop Cantu said in a statement released shortly after the president made his announcement.

“President Trump’s decision will harm the people of the United States and the world, especially the poorest, most vulnerable communities,” the bishop said.