Climate Change

Vatican marks Laudato Si’ anniversary with new website

Marking the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace launched a new web site dedicated to the document and efforts around the world to put its teaching into practice.

The new site is a witness to the impact of the document and the hard work of many people. Pope Francis’ encyclical provided the “moral imperative to take bold action.”

Canadian Jesuit Father Michael Czerny,is quoted as saying that the document does not tell people what to think, but rather is a guide through the complexities of the issue.

The website is entitled “Laudato Si” and can be found here: Laudato Si


Rapper Baba Brinkman presents Laudato Si at COP 21

Please take a moment to view and hear this “rap” about Laudato Si.

The Laudato Si Rap


 

Laudato Si

On May 24, 2015 Pope Francis issued the encyclical “Laudato Si” – Praise be to You, My Lord entitled “On Care for our Common Home”. His opening paragraph states, “in the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

You can read the entire encyclical here: Laudato Si

There is a video response to the encyclical prepared by a group in Canada. It is entitled, “Laudato Si, A Canadian Response”. You can see the entire video here: Canadian Response


 

CANADA’S ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Here are some brief notes about the Canadian Government’s response to climate change initiatives.

COP21 in Paris: In December 2015, Canada was one of 195 nations involved in the development and adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. For the first time in over a decade, the Government of Canada stepped up and played an important leadership role in the international climate negotiations, pushing to set 1.5°C (over pre-industrial levels) as the target limit on global warming, and recognize Indigenous rights in the text of the agreement. (Unfortunately, the 1.5°C target remained aspirational and the rights language was left in the preamble. Still, Canada’s contribution was significant).

Canadian First Ministers Meeting: On March 3, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau met with provincial and territorial leaders in Vancouver to develop a framework for a Canadian climate action plan. Despite earlier assertions that this gathering would be used to develop a carbon-pricing policy as part of a clear and comprehensive plan of action to address climate change, First Ministers agreed instead to establish four working groups to study (1) clean technology, innovation and jobs, (2) carbon pricing mechanisms, (3) specific mitigation opportunities, and (4) adaptation and climate resilience, and the recommendations of these working groups would be considered at a subsequent First Ministers’ Meeting in the fall.

Earth Day Signing of the Parish Agreement: On April 22, 2016, 171 nations, including Canada, signed on to the Paris Agreement at a special ceremony at UN headquarters in New York. These signatures represent the  “intentions [of national governments] to launch the domestic processes for the ratification or acceptance of the Agreement.” The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days following ratification by 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s top three emitters – China, the US, and India – signed the agreement and plan to ratify by the end of 2016. Delays in operationalizing the Agreement may come from the European Union, where some member states are more hesitant to commit to bold action.

Public Consultations on a “Pan Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change”: While at the UN, the Prime Minister indicated that he would present the Paris Agreement to Parliament for approval in May. At the same time, Minister McKenna announced national public consultations on climate change. The centrepiece of these consultations is a website through which Canadians are invited to submit ideas on  “Canada’s approach to climate change.” In addition to requesting “general ideas on addressing climate change,” the four themes identified on the site echo the First Ministers’ working groups. Namely, reducing emissions, clean tech, innovation and jobs, preparing for climate change impacts, and carbon pricing.