On 20 September 2019, members of Catholic religious institutes have indicated that they will be joining school students and other young people, their families and concerned members of communities who have chosen to be in support of youth-led climate rallies on the streets of metropolitan and regional cities around Australia. These rallies will be echoing those around the world, to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change.
By joining the rallies, Catholic religious express their alarm for the damage being caused to our earth as well as their hope for a more sustainable, peaceful, and healthy planet. Catholic religious encourage all forms of education on how people are impacting the planet; the rallies serve to educate and raise awareness to support government and members of the community to take action to bring about a change in the way we care for the earth.
“We need to heed the pleas of Pacific Island leaders at their recent Forum and acknowledge the catastrophes facing these countries, which leaves them with great fear for their futures,” said Br Peter Carroll FMS, President of CRA, referring to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in August 2019.
The crises are not limited to the Pacific Islands. Here in Australia, unprecedented experiences of bushfires, drought, floods, and the disintegration of the Murray Darling river system confront us with impending and dangerous realities. The devastation of the environment reminds us that we cannot misuse and manipulate the balance in nature without serious consequences.
The urgency of the climate crisis and the ongoing decisions of many governments across the world to give priority to climate change policy is further evidenced by the United Nation’s Climate Action Summit (World Health Organisation), which will be held three days after the rallies.
“Climate change is a defining issue of our time and requires, unified global action,” said Br Peter; “and students are meeting the environmental threats in the most effective way they believe is possible – by taking action when they perceive that governments are failing to do so.”
“We applaud the youth demonstrating for climate justice and believe that by working together, as Pope Francis tells us in Laudato si, that ‘humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home’ and that we may prevent further damage to the planet,” said Br Peter.
With thanks to Catholic Religious Australia (CRA).