[Statement] Aksyon Klima Pilipinas on Pope Francis’ Encyclical: Humanity as Stewards of the Earth

Aksyon Klima Pilipinas statement on Pope Francis’ Encyclical: Humanity as Stewards of the Earth
17 June 2015

Aksyon Klima Pilipinas (AK), a dynamic network of 43 civil society organizations working on various climate change and development issues, embraces the much-anticipated encyclical of Pope Francis on climate change. As Pope Francis pointed out during the 20th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate change is a serious ethical and moral responsibility. The call of AK has been and always will be for climate action strengthened by international agreements supported by national agendas and realized by local authorities.

Aksyon Klima

God’s instruction during the creation of humanity was, “to replenish the earth, and subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moved upon the Earth” (Genesis 1:28). Given the present concerning situation of this Earth, humanity has clearly forgotten this fundamental responsibility.

The abuse and over-consumption of the goods that the Earth has to offer is a clear demonstration of the savagery that exists in the human heart, corrupted by sin, manifested by the devastation and dangers brought about by climate change. Extreme weather events and other catastrophes that exacerbate the vulnerable situation of the poor and marginalized societies is the only way Mother Earth can teach us the lesson of the necessity to take care of the environment, which in turn will allow Mother Earth to provide for humanity.

Pope Francis’ encyclical comes at an opportune time when Parties to UNFCCC are set to meet in Paris later this year to come up with a new climate change agreement. AK hopes that the encyclical will lead to a strong response to climate change from all Parties to the Convention. This strong response should be able to overcome mistrust and selfishness to promote the culture of solidarity, cooperation and dialogue.

The Philippines, where majority of the population is Catholic and is recognized for their enlightened faith and unwavering devotion, should invoke the national government to listen and learn from the lessons that Pope Francis is trying to advocate. This call from the Pope is a humble request to all governments to include climate action in their respective national agendas. The Philippines, long has been the face and voice of climate change vulnerable countries, should be at the helm of this movement to call for climate action.

The Pope’s encyclical released today may not reflect the individual ambitions of our politicians but hopefully could touch the meekness of their hearts and the humility of their consciences for them to choose and pave the path for climate action.

Aksyon Klima Pilipinas extends our utmost gratitude to Pope Francis for always being the voice of the voiceless and the light of those who are oppressed. In Pope Francis’ continued advocacy for climate action, Aksyon Klima Pilipinas joins the Pope in thought, action and prayer for humanity to become responsible stewards of this Earth.

For more information, please contact:
Gene Angelo P. Ferrer
National Coordinator, Aksyon Klima Pilipinas
+63 917 852 6789

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