The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) called on the Environmental Protection Agency to combat climate change in a May 29 letter. It specifically focused on the issue of carbon pollution, particularly from power plants.
“The USCCB recognizes the importance of finding means to reduce carbon pollution,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami. “These standards should protect the health and welfare of all people, especially children, the elderly, as well as poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution emitted from power plants and from the impacts of climate change.”
Addressed to Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the letter emphasized the need for specific action on the issue. "We appreciate your commitment to address this urgent global challenge confronting the human family. The USCCB stands ready to work with you, the Administration, and members of Congress to ensure that measures necessary to address climate change both care for creation and protect 'the least of these.'"
This isn't the first time that climate change has been addressed as a moral issue. The National Catholic Reporter argued in a recent editorial that "Climate change is church's No. 1 pro-life issue."
In January, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis is in the process of writing an encyclical about "the ecology of mankind."
During an address last week, the pope said:
We are Custodians of Creation... Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!