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Cut the talk, take action, says Caritas


On the heels of more than 40 events held across the country last week in a wave of international climate protests and marches, Caritas will release its annual State of the Environment for Oceania report on 3 October, the eve of St Francis day. This will also mark the end of the month-long Season of Creation, celebrated by tens of thousands of Christians around the world.

“Over the last 5 weeks, Catholics have joined many others in praying, walking and acting for extreme climate action in the face of the ongoing climate emergency,” said Caritas Director Julianne Hickey. “Now is the time for world leaders and other key decision makers to take action to dramatically cut carbon emissions to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

While the term ‘climate emergency’ has become mainstream this year, many in the Pacific have been living a climate emergency for decades. They have been calling for action ever since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was agreed in 1992.

Caritas Director Julianne Hickey will launch the 2019 report “Seeds of Hope” at events in Auckland on 3 October and then in Wellington on 4 October.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has published the Caritas State of the Environment for Oceania Report since 2014, on behalf of Caritas Oceania and the peoples of Oceania. It tracks how five key issues are impacting people in the region: coastal erosion/sea level rise; food and water; extreme weather; offshore mining and drilling; and climate finance. Contributions have come from Caritas agencies in Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia, and Caritas partners and associates from many other Pacific countries. Stories of impact are also available online at https://caritas.org.nz/state-environment

Sharing the final week in this Season of Creation, Caritas recognises the Global Week of Action on migration. This is a timely reminder that environmental degradation is one of a variety of reasons forcing many to leave their home. Caritas’ ‘Share the Journey’ campaign encourages a culture of encounter between migrants and refugees and established communities.

On Thursday, 3 October at 7pm: there will be the launch of the report at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Papakura, followed by Liturgy for the eve of St Francis Day. The next day – Friday, 4 October at 12:30pm there will be a presentation of the report in the Caritas Office, 22 – 30 Hill St, Wellington.

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