Bishop Hayes supports Catholic statement on COP26

Bishop of Kilmore Martin Hayes, the coordinating bishop for Laudato Si’, has signed a statement, calling on the leaders at the UN 26th Climate Change Conference to reach agreement on environmental measures and targets to arrest and reverse the effects climate change.

The statement is being supported by Catholic organisations from around the world.

Its release follows the attendance of Bishop Hayes at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

'As Catholics, united for our common home, we urgently ask leaders at the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference to follow Pope Francis’ leadership in reaching a prophetic final agreement.

'The science is clear: an extractive, unsustainable economy, fuelled by fossil fuels, is causing the climate crisis that’s destroying God’s creation and harming the most vulnerable among us the most, those who have done little to cause the crisis.

'We owe it to our poorest sisters and brothers, future generations, and all of God’s creation to seize this historic opportunity. In 2015, Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si’ that fossil fuels need “to be progressively replaced without delay.” Now, in 2021, we have reached a decisive moment. We must reach an agreement in Glasgow that sets a clear and ambitious timeline for a just transition away from harmful fossil fuels. Setting out such a pathway is an essential step to accelerating investment in a clean energy future for all.

'As Catholics, we have other priorities for the final agreement as well, ensuring human rights and environmental safeguards, recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and keeping the commitment of 1.5 degrees. It is also essential that the final declaration reaffirms the commitment to climate finance for adaptation, as well as loss and damage.

'But above all, a final agreement must deliver on a clear pathway forward to a just transition away from an extractive economy based on fossil fuels, the root cause of the climate crisis. We will continue working and praying for that prophetic outcome.'

Bishop Martin Hayes is Bishop of Kilmore. Pope Francis’ encyclical letter entitled, Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, was published in 2015 and became a worldwide best seller. The encyclical is developed around the concept of integral ecology, as a paradigm able to articulate the fundamental relationships of the person: with God, with one’s self, with other human beings, with creation.


Kilmore Bishop attends COP26