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Friday, June 19, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY'S STATEMENT ON POPE FRANCIS' ENCYCLICAL ON THE ENVIRONMENT

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 18, 2015

The Pope’s powerful encyclical calls for a common response to the critical threat climate change poses to our common home. His plea for all religions to work together reflects the urgency of the challenge. The faith community – in the United States and abroad – has a long history of environmental stewardship and aiding the poor, and Pope Francis has thoughtfully applied those same values to the very real threat our planet is facing today.

The devastating impacts of climate change – like heat waves, damaging floods, coastal sea level rise and historic droughts – are already taking place, threatening the habitat all humans and other creatures depend on to survive. We have a responsibility to meet this challenge and prevent the worst impacts. As stewards of our planet, we can all work together to manage our resources sustainably and ensure that the poorest among us are resilient to climate change. We have the overwhelming body of peer-reviewed science to show us what is causing this problem, and we are equipped with the tools and resources to begin solving it.

Engagement on this issue from a wide range of voices is all the more important as we strive to reach a global climate agreement this December in Paris.