Media CenterCRS Welcomes U.S. Contribution to Green Climate Fund
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
WASHINGTON, DC, January 18, 2017 - Catholic Relief Services (CRS) welcomes the announcement this week by the Obama Administration that additional funding will be made available towards fulfilling the United States’ pledge of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund.
“This transfer of $500 million to the fund demonstrates our country’s ongoing compassion and commitment to the poor around the world,” said Bill O’Keefe, CRS Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy. “The Green Climate Fund is an important resource that helps communities in developing countries prepare for the ill effects of climate change, like increasing droughts that undermine the livelihoods of small farmers.”
The Green Climate Fund was established in 2010 during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and is now an independent organization underwriting major renewable energy projects that support climate mitigation and helping the world’s most vulnerable adapt to the inescapable impacts of climate change.
CRS has programs across the globe to help poor communities, many of whom are being disproportionately affected by climate change. CRS helps these communities adapt through climate-smart agriculture, by diversifying their incomes, and restoring critical watersheds, for example. The Green Climate Fund supports these kinds of adaptation measures.
“At CRS we see the effects of climate change first-hand on the ground every day, and we also know there are ways to help people with the new challenges they face,” O’Keefe said.
The Catholic Church has been a leading voice in calling leaders and people of goodwill to rise above politics in order to respond to climate change. In 2001 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) noted that “global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God's creation and the one human family.”
In 2009 Pope Benedict lamented “how can one remain indifferent in the face of problems such as climate change, desertification, the degradation and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas” that was leading to what he termed “environmental refugees.” And in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis implored politicians to be “courageous” and “to take up” the responsibility and costs associated with responding to climate change.
“It is more important than ever for the United States to lead the international community in helping to address the impacts of climate change on the poor,” O’Keefe said. “We look forward to working with the new Administration and Congress, and the broader development and international community, to continue to provide support to those affected by changes in their environment.”
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 through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.