Dominican Sisters in the U.S.A have been actively addressing climate change since the late 1980s. In 2015, we commissioned four Dominican Sisters to represent us at the Paris 2015 Climate Summit – COP21. Today, in the face of the imminent threat climate change poses to the planet, to people, to the economy, and even to national security, we are alarmed by President Trump’s recent Executive Order that rolls back The Clean Power Plan and encourages increased coal production. This is a dangerous step backwards.
Lifting restraints on the carbon emissions will not create jobs in the coal industry. Economists recognize that reduced natural gas prices have impacted the coal industry much more than The Clean Power Plan. There are many more jobs in renewable energy than the Trump administration could create in additional fossil fuel initiatives.
This action opens the door to those who would increase the effects of climate change on weather, farmers, water supplies, food systems, vulnerable species, ecosystems, and those who have few resources to recover from any severe climate crises.
We stand with scientists and spiritual leaders of all faiths. Pope Francis has outlined our moral imperative in his document Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Bishops have said, “The common good calls us to extend our concern to future generations.” Climate change poses the question, “What does our generation owe to generations yet unborn?” Even Exxon Mobil welcomed the Paris accord as “an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change.”
We must continue to move forward with the nations of this planet to move to an economy that seeks to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.