- Date: September 17, 2015
- Author: Lou Leonard, Vice President, Climate Change, WWF, and Patrick Carolan, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network
We are all connected
The growing climate crisis is the clearest reminder that we are all connected: the land, waters and atmosphere we share, our global food supply, the social contract that promotes peace within the human family. All are at risk from climate disruption and related natural resource scarcity.
How each nation, community or individual responds, or fails to respond, affects us all. The truth of the climate crisis is no country or individual among us can protect itself by itself. We can only effectively face this together. Moreover, our interdependence reflects a larger moral bond that compels us to act together, including for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities and creatures among us.
These truths that unite us are more important than issues that may divide us. At this moment in history, we must look for new ways to collaborate across traditional lines.
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis called for “a new and universal solidarity” among the human family to respond to the climate crisis and create an “integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” With this in mind, WWF and the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) commit to build bridges between our two large global networks and among the broader climate movement in service of a safer future for all of life. We will raise awareness of the impacts already here and the greater threats to come. We will call on our leaders, as well as on our followers and supporters, to respond with urgency and compassion. As importantly, we will support greater resilience and strength of spirit in the face of this global crisis through joyful connection with one another and the Earth.
A call to action
If we are to have a fair chance of avoiding the most devastating climate impacts, long-term global warming should be limited to 1.5°C. At present, our collective action leaves us well short of the 2°C goal set by governments, let alone this safer 1.5°C target. This ambition gap must be closed, while we help each other prepare for and cope with the impacts we can no longer avoid.
Looking ahead to the climate negotiations in Paris this December, we call on all nations to commit to doing their fair share at home to cut carbon pollution to levels demanded by science and prepare for coming impacts. But individual national action is not enough. The outcome in Paris should launch a new era of global climate cooperation where nations provide financial support for the vulnerable and create new ways to collaborate in order to go beyond our domestic politics and catalyze bigger and bolder action in service of a rapid and just transition to a safer future for all.
We welcome opportunities to cooperate with others to promote dialogue among secular civil society and groups representing all faith traditions to advance a safer and more just future for people and our broader world.