Caritas highlights the grass roots voice of environmental change and advocates for policy and action that will provide justice for the present and future generations.
"Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live"
Pope Francis: Laudato Si', 2015
Caritas’ environmental advocacy includes raising awareness on the impact of climate change on many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. We have also written submissions on biofuels and raised concerns about the future for those likely to be displaced by climate change, especially in the Pacific.
In 2014 Caritas published Small yet strong: Voices from Oceania on the environment a foundational environment report on Oceania based on interviews with our partners. In 2015 we published our first State of the Environment for Oceania report Caring for our Common Home on St Francis' Day – 4 October. Each year since then we have launched a State of the Environment for Oceania report on that day.
We have identified the following key issues: extreme weather, environmental factors affecting food and water security, offshore mining and drilling, climate finance and coastal erosion, flooding and sea level rise. We examine these areas in the yearly reports.
The threat to human wellbeing and even existence posed by climate change is real and pressing. Climate change is already drastically affecting the world’s poorest peoples, including our neighbours in the Pacific Islands.
Caritas is calling on New Zealand and the world community to commit strongly and act quickly to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Pope Francis urges us to take action to protect the planet and its people in his encyclical, Laudato Si'. The encyclical reminds us of our shared responsibility for caring for our common home and emphasises the urgency of the issues surrounding environmental justice.