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Friday, 08 June 2018 19:17

Global Catholic Climate Movement grew from need to 'do something'

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0618ClimateCoalition 450A worldwide Catholic movement that was born out of a need "to do something" about climate change four years ago has grown to include almost 700 organisations, Mercyworld.org reports.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) founding president Amy Woolam Echeverria visited Australia recently. She gave a talk on the establishment, growth and work of the movement to the Mercy Sisters, their colleagues and members of other religious orders at the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub in Melbourne.

Ms Woolam Echeverria is also the international coordinator for justice, peace and integrity of creation for the Columban Missionaries who, like Mercy International Association, are founding members of the movement.

She told the gathering that an impetus for the creation of the GCCM was the People's Climate March held in New York in 2014, held two days before the United Nations Climate Summit of world leaders, which was intended to kickstart the process to achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change, signed two years later.

A number of those present at the march, including Columbans and Mercy Sisters, recognised the need to do something to combat climate change and they began meeting weekly on Skype.

In January 2015, GCCM launched, taking its first steps with just 20 partner organisations. GCCM's membership has reached almost 700 organisations, ranging from large international networks such as ourselves, to local parishes and community groups, and is an ever-growing coalition.

Laudato Si', Pope Francis's 2015 encyclical on the environment, is the GCCM's founding document.

The movement works to bring the encyclical to life in three "dimensions": the spiritual dimension through ecological conversion; the lifestyle dimension through encouraging lifestyle changes and divestment from fossil fuels; and the public policy dimension by speaking out and advocating for bold climate policies.

 

This story was first published by the Mercy International Association at mercyworld.org.

PHOTO: Amy Woolam Echeverria, sixth from left, with Sisters of Mercytheir colleagues and members of other religious orders at the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub in North Carlton, Melbourne