Earth Hour Should Be Followed Up

Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Monday 30 March 2009

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to continue taking action to promote effective Government climate change policies.

The call was made following Earth Hour on Saturday 28 March when households and businesses were encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour to send a message about the need for strong and urgent action on climate change to Governments around the world.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that many Catholics would have joined community members around Australia by turning off their lights during Earth Hour.

“Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II and Australia’s Bishops have encouraged Catholics to understand that caring for the earth is an important part of our faith,” Mr Arndt said.

“So, it is natural that many Catholics would have participated in Earth Hour as a way of acting to promote responsible management of our environment and earth’s resources,” he said.

“We hope that Catholics will try to continue to impress on our political leaders the need for strong action on the environment,” he said.

“Many Catholic parishes, schools and households are taking steps to reduce their contribution to the greenhouse gas pollution which has caused greatly accelerated climate change,” he said.

“Reducing use of electricity and other forms of energy, more responsible use of water and better waste management are some of the ways in which this is being done,” he said.

“We applaud these actions and encourage Catholics to continue their efforts to live more sustainably,” he said.

“However, we need Governments at all levels in Australia to develop policies which commit our nation to deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions so that our children and grandchildren will not have to deal with very serious environmental problems,” he said.

“We hope that the many Catholics who took part in Earth Hour will find the time in the coming months to keep sending messages to local MPs and the Federal and State Governments urging that strong and urgent action on climate change be taken,” he said.

“Serious long term problems like accelerated climate change will not go away but get much worse if we put them to one side to focus attention on serious short term problems like the current financial crisis,” he said.

“Governments must keep doing what is needed to effectively respond to the critical global warming problem while they are also helping people who have been caught up in the problems associated with the global financial crisis,” he said.

Mr Arndt said the Commission’s sustainability task group was working on initiatives to help parishes in their efforts to respond to the climate change crisis.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

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