Oxfam Praises Pope Francis’ Unprecedented Climate Change Call to Action

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Elena Cornellana on +34 646 955 915 elena.cornellana@oxfaminternational.org

Oxfam Praises Pope Francis’ Unprecedented Climate Change Call to Action

WASHINGTON - Protecting the world’s environment is the top of the Vatican’s agenda as today the Holy City released Pope Francis’ Encyclical (1) that for the first time focuses on climate change. In the correspondence, His Holiness stressed the need for us to improve our ways in order to prevent catastrophic climate change and stem growing inequality.

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Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director, said:

“The call by His Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Francis, reminds us that climate change is first and foremost about people.

The gross and growing inequality between rich and poor has been made worse by the climate crisis.

Moreover, the emissions of the rich are driving weather extremes that hit the poorest hardest.

Only when world leaders heed the Pope's moral leadership on these two defining issues, inequality and climate change, will our societies become safer, more prosperous and more equal.”

Notes to editors:

Soundbite of Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International - audio file available here: http://we.tl/Nr2o9gBTQs

1) A Papal Encyclical is the name typically given to a letter written by a Pope to a particular audience of Bishops. This audience of Bishops may be all of the Bishops in a specific country or all of the Bishops in all countries throughout the world.

The title of the encyclical, Laudato si’, is a quotation from the religious song Canticle of the Sun. St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment, is said to have written the song that praises God for the creation of the different creatures and aspects of the Earth. The encyclical is also given the Italian subtitle: “Sulla cura della casa comune,” (On the care of the common home).

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Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

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