The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Climate change policy

The threat to human wellbeing and even existence posed by climate change is real and pressing. Climate change is already drastically affecting the world’s poorest peoples, including our neighbours in the Pacific Islands.

"Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."

Pope Francis - Laudato Si’

Climate change is truly a global problem and all countries need to contribute to reducing emissions. New Zealand, as much as every other country, needs the world to commit strongly and quickly to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change, agreed to in December 2015.

Overcoming the very real threat that climate change poses to our planet and its people requires courageous statecraft focused on the global common good, rather than politics driven by national self-interest or short-term growth.

That is a key message of Pope Francis to every member of the global community, as the world moves forward to put into practice the global agreement on responding to climate change.

In 2015, Caritas made a submission to the New Zealand Climate Change Contribution consultation and highlighted the need for strong global agreement on the action required to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director Julianne Hickey, one of the Caritas Oceania leaders, presented key findings and recommendations from the 2015 State of the Environment report to the UN Climate Change conference in Paris (COP21) as part of the international Caritas delegation.

In 2016, Caritas made a submission to the Ministry for the Environment on the Emissions Trading Scheme Evaluation, which emphasised the need to reduce carbon emissions in fact and avoid any carbon credit scheme becoming a form of speculation which permits continued excessive consumption, among other recommendations.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust