The Congregations of St Joseph recognize that at the heart of the climate change discussion and decision-making must be a commitment to an ethical framework for sustainable development. Our experience causes us to have deep concerns about human rights, which are fundamentally related to access to natural resources such as clean air, water and land. Together, we must answer a fundamental ethical question: Will we choose human transformation or earth devastation?
We live on a finite planet. We are liquidating mother earth’s natural assets to fuel our consumption. In system after system, demand is exceeding supply. Climate change is already responsible for forcing some 50 million more people to go hungry and driving 10 million more people into extreme poverty. As climate change worsens, migration will become a growing issue.
We believe that developed countries need to take the lead in changing their patterns of production and consumption while developing countries maintain their development goals even as they move toward sustainable practices.
While we commit ourselves to personal changes that will reduce our consumption patterns and support a “green economy,” we also know that we must advocate for systemic changes at a local, national, and global level.
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