Erie Benedictines sign the Paris Pledge to Reduce Carbon Pollution

In an act of solidarity with global leaders and nations at the 2015 UN Climate Talks in Paris, we pledge to reduce our carbon pollution 50% by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050. We believe a brighter future is within reach -- a world with an economy that works for people and the planet, a world safe from the ravages of climate change, a world with good jobs, clean air and water, healthy communities, and a world where people of faith everywhere act as stewards of Creation and begin to build a new relationship with the Earth. (Paris Pledge)

The Erie Benedictines have joined with other Religious Organizations and individuals in signing the Paris Pledge which was developed by Interfaith Power and Light in the hope of leading by example. A scroll with the pledge and its signers will be presented at the Paris conference which is presently underway. The governments of more than 190 nations have gathered in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and thus avoiding the threat of dangerous climate change. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference opened November 30 and will continue through December 11.

“This is a decisive step in our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “Care for the earth has been integral to the Benedictine Charism since our very foundation in the 6th century. The Erie Benedictines have consciously and deliberately included this responsibility in our community’s Corporate Commitment and have taken significant steps, both as community and as individuals, to deepen our understanding and take concrete and intentional actions toward sustainable living.”

In coverage by Dana Massing in Erie Times News, Sister Annette Marshall remarked: “This is a moral issue. The environment belongs to everyone and is in our trust until we pass it along to the next generation.”

In a recent article in the Erie Reader Sister Pat Lupo commented on the belief that Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, and his visit to the U.S. were timed to coincide with the 2015 U.N. Climate Talks in Paris. “In his campaign for action on climate change, Francis proclaimed the existence of a ‘right of the environment’ and pleaded with countries to stop abusing it. He connected climate change to the wider pursuit of equality, security, and justice for all, stating, ‘Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, and political … it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.’”

On behalf of the Erie Benedictines, Sister Anne Wambach encourages others to join the effort to reduce carbon pollution: “Every person and organization can make a difference,” she said. “We urge everyone to make his/her/their own commitment to reduce carbon pollution. If we expect nations to commit to significant energy policies, then we should do so ourselves, at home, in the workplace, in our churches, and in all the places that touch our lives.”

For ongoing news about the Climate Change Conference visit the UN Climate Change Newsroom.