Catholic Relief Services Responds to Papal Encyclical

In response to Pope Francis’ new encyclical Laudato Si’, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is drawing on its 70 years of experience in working with the world’s poorest to offer recommendations for how the United States can best respond. In Adapting to a Harsher Climate, CRS reviews its work with small farmers, noting that many must contend with poor soils that lack nutrients and organic matter.

These poor soils lack the capacity to absorb rainwater, which leads to poor root development and eventually reduced yields. CRS wants U.S. leaders to invest more resources to aid the 3 billion people most at risk from climate change. This assistance needs to go beyond feeding the hungry to helping people restore degraded lands so they can feed themselves.

In Toward a Sustainable Future, CRS calls on the United States to exercise its leadership to obtain a legally binding international treaty on climate change and to fulfill its initial commitment to offer $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund. CRS cites how the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased 50% between 1990 and 2012. Delay in responding to this crisis, according to CRS, will only make matters worse.

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