As the COP 21 Paris Climate Negotiations begin, Sister Pat Daly is in Paris with many members of the Dominican Order, and they have recently sent a statement to COP 21 delegates (see below). You can follow their activities here.
Tri-CRI members have long engaged ExxonMobil on its position on climate change, encouraging positive actions within its business model as well as leadership on climate policy. We recently led a petition calling on the company to issue a statement in support of COP 21, as many of its peers in the oil and gas sector have done. After securing 255 individual signatures, we sent the petition to ExxonMobil. We were pleased to see that ExxonMobil has released a statement that broadly supports the Paris Climate Negotiations and the goal of limiting the impacts of climate change on humanity and ecosystems. The full statement is available here.
While ExxonMobil's statement could be strengthened, particularly by including reference to limiting warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, we are pleased to see ExxonMobil taking a supportive position, and we hope that this may represent a shift towards further, more proactive actions by the company to support a carbon tax in the US capable of achieving necessary reductions in GHG emissions. Our efforts to encourage a responsible transition to a low carbon economy will continue through our shareholder resolution and the work of other members of ICCR.
Open Letter to the Delegates of the Twenty-First Conference of Parties
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
As Dominican Sisters and Brothers engaged in various parts of the world where we witness the devastating effects of climate change, especially on the most vulnerable, we are here in Paris to urge a redoubling of efforts to ensure the Paris summit results in a strong and legally binding agreement.
Developed countries must take the lead in the reduction of carbon emissions to ensure not more than a 1.5 degree Celsius increase over pre-industrial levels. Finances and technology for adaptation and mitigation with no strings attached must be provided to the nations who have been and are struggling with the impacts of climate change.
Governments must move away from narrow national interests and corporate interests to a commitment to the common good of people and planet if we are to avert catastrophic climate change.
As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on April 28, 2015, at a Vatican consultation on Laudato Si, “We are the first generation that can end poverty in our lifetime, and the last generation to tackle climate change before it is too late, before we have to regret. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities.”
In the words of Pope Francis, “Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest” (Laudato Si, 13). As COP21 opened, he said, “It is either now or never…. We are at the brink of a suicide.”
-- Sister Celestina Veloso Freitas, OP, International Promoter of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of Dominican Sisters International
-- Sister Margaret Mayce, OP, Representative of the Dominican Family at the United Nations, New York
-- Father Michael Deeb, OP, Permanent Delegate of the Dominican Order to the United Nations, Geneva
On behalf of more than 180,000 Sisters, Brothers, and Laity of the Dominican Family.