As a first step in a massive Catholic mobilization in the Philippines, Cardinal Tagle announced the official launch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement's (GCCM) petition to an audience of over 1,000 priests, religious and lay leaders during a General Assembly of the Manila Archdiocese. He then encouraged Catholic Filipinos to take action and signed the petition himself. This direct response to the call to action in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si is a beautiful example of what Catholics all over the world should be doing. Pledging to collect 10 Million signatures, the Filipino people consider working toward reversing climate change as a matter of both faith and survival as island nations such as theirs are at much higher risk to suffer the consequences of climate change.
At current levels of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, average global temperatures are likely to rise 4 degrees Celsius or more by 2100, unleashing catastrophic climate change. Nations have begun submitting plans to the United Nations for how they intend to cut oil and coal use, increase renewable energy, and conserve forests. But so far it’s not clear that their commitments will pull that number down significantly; nor are these targets legally binding. The GCCM believe this petition may help spur political leaders to act more effectively.
Now it’s the rest of the Church that will mobilize in the rest of the world, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. We pray that Laudato Si’ will awaken our Catholic family worldwide, to take action for climate justice. FAN urges you to sign the GCCM petition and share this information with others. Now more than ever, Franciscans must rise to the challenge of climate change.