Ditch fossil fuel now, say bishops

fossil fuel

Catholic bishops meeting in Port Moresby say economic development dependent upon fossil fuel-based energy, especially coal, presents an urgent ethical challenge.

They say that for too long politicians have defended their lack of action by claiming that legislating for effective industrial change would be ‘political suicide’.

The Assembly of the Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania that recently concluded in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, say such a stance is the pathway of gross irresponsibility.

The bishops have appealed to all nations, particularly those in the continents of industrial strength, to hear the voice from the south.

In their final statement, the bishops say commercial growth based on fossil fuel usage is contributing to destructive climate change.

“Every day our people are suffering from the negative – indeed sometimes disastrous – effects of global warming.

These effects include rising sea levels, rising ocean temperatures, acidification of waters, coral bleaching and threats to biodiversity.

There is also a more widely noticed increase of extreme weather patterns – cyclones, typhoons and storms.

The bishops want an end to delays, posturing and tradeoffs, and are calling instead for pro-active regulatory frameworks.

They ask why it is that, notwithstanding the negative consequences of human ecology, many governments not only permit but support the expansion of coal-based industries.

Sooner or later future governments will have to address these social health and environmental costs and thus, in effect, subsidise the very industrial bases they should be curbing.

The Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania is made up of the conferences from Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, New Zealand and CEPAC (the rest of the Pacific).

Read the whole bishops’ statement


  • Supplied: Amanda Gregan Communications Advisor – NZ Catholic Bishops/Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa
  • Image: Facebook

News category: Asia Pacific, Top Story.