CRS and Climate Change

Sources for quotes: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (photos 1, 5, 6); U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (photos 2, 7); CRS white paper: "Climate Change and the Call to Global Solidarity" (photo 3); Desmond Tutu, Anglican bishop and Nobel Prize winner (photo 4); United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (photo #8).

How CRS is Making a Difference

Climate change is challenging CRS' mission of assisting the poor and vulnerable around the world in new ways. In Guatemala, our agricultural programs are helping farmers adapt to new and less predictable weather conditions by diversifying crops and implementing soil management practices. In Ethiopia and India, our integrated water resource management programs are helping people increase available ground water by protecting the natural resources within their watershed area. CRS' emergency programs are helping people prepare for disasters on an unexpected and unprecedented scale, placing major emphasis on emergency preparation, hoping to reduce damage caused by drought and flooding. At the same time, our health programs are responding to the outbreak of illnesses caused by an increase in tropical diseases in places they have never been.

Why CRS Is Involved in This Issue

The Catholic Church has a long tradition of teaching and action on caring for God's creation. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is witnessing first-hand the effects of environmental degradation and climate change on poor and vulnerable people in the countries we work and is committed to taking action on this critical issue.

Developing nations are prone to experiencing the worst devastation as a result of climate-related disasters. Lives are lost and homes, livelihoods, crops and livestock are destroyed in the wake of storms and floods. Severe hunger and disease often follow at a slower—but just as deadly—pace. Current weather patterns are already posing challenges to the strides we have made around the globe in places where overwhelming poverty makes living conditions fragile in the best of times.

Green Givers

How You Can Make a Difference

  • Support CRS' efforts to help poor communities worldwide adapt to the effects of climate change and mitigate its consequences. Join our Green Givers paperless monthly giving program and receive information about how your gift is being used electronically.
  • Join Catholics Confront Global Poverty, an initiative by CRS and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to pray, learn, and take action on the most pressing global poverty issues today, including climate change, with thousands of other Catholics nationwide.
  • Learn more about the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change that helps Catholics learn more about our faith and how it relates to climate change.