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Susan Walters

Catholic Relief Services
(410) 955-7103
[email protected]

U.S. Leadership Sends Signal to Developing World Where Climate Change Hits Hardes

BALTIMORE, MD, April 22, 2016 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) praises the progress made this Friday, April 22, and also Earth Day, by the nations signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York, including the United States and China.

“It is such a pleasure to know that the call of Pope Francis in his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si,’ is being heeded,” said Carolyn Woo, CEO and President of CRS. “The Holy Father has asked all of us to care for God’s creation and the signing of this agreement is an important step in that direction.”

Reached under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during the UN’s meeting on the topic in Paris in December, the agreement commits countries to putting in place individual targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Those commitments will be reviewed every five years.

Since the United States and China account for 40 percent of the emission of greenhouse gases, their signatures are considered the most important. Signing the agreement now could also accelerate the timeline of it going into effect.

CRS is pleased to see the Obama Administration act on an issue the Catholic Church has long recognized. “The Catholic Church has taken a leadership role on this issue for decades and it is right and fitting that Pope Francis continues this,” said Woo, who was present at the Vatican for the launch of Laudato Si’ last year. “Throughout his papacy, he has shown compassion and concern for the poor. And around the world it is the poor who are suffering from the changing climate even though they are the ones who are least responsible for those changes. They must be helped to adapt to the world that they did so little to create.”

CRS urges lawmakers to fulfill the U.S.’ pledge to the Green Climate Fund. President Obama’s payment of $500 million to the Fund for FY16 was a great first step but all of the commitment - $3 billion over the next four years – must be honored. The Green Climate Fund will support critical programs that help the poor around the world develop resilience in the face of a changing climate. Those programs, ranging from adapting new farming practices to managing natural resources better, have the potential of saving millions of lives.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished throughprograms of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.  For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social mediaFacebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief, @CRSnewsand @CRSnoticias, InstagramPinterest and YouTube.

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Susan Walters

Senior Communications Manager

Susan Walters
April 21, 2016

Based in Baltimore, MD

As a Senior Communications Manager for Catholic Relief Services, Susan Gossling Walters covers the agency’s footprint in the United States where she identifies personal stories existing within communities, college campuses, parishes, schools as well as families that illustrate a unique approach and commitment to service. Using her skills as a...More