"We face a moral imperative to protect the earth and all its inhabitants from a climate crisis of our own making," read an amicus brief filed by 30 Catholic and faith-based institutions with the federal appeals court in support of the Clean Power Plan. Citing health risks as a primary concern, the largely Catholic coalition insisted that the EPA holds a responsibility to protect U.S. citizens from harmful pollution and the ever increasing impact of climate change. Calling for "greater and earlier reductions," Lonnie Ellis, associate director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, a Blessed Tomorrow partner, shared, "After Laudato Si and after the papal visit to the White House, where Pope Francis praised this specific effort to address climate change, we felt we needed to speak up."

While the initiative was Catholic in number, the movement was far from exclusive – involving organizations such as Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and National Baptist Convention of America, welcoming non-religious organizations as well such as Google, Apple, and Amazon. 


Catholic institutions join amicus brief supporting Clean Power Plan

Dennis Sadowski | Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Citing a moral obligation to care for the natural world and all inhabitants of the earth, 30 Catholic and faith-based institutions filed an amicus brief with a federal appeals court in support of the Clean Power Plan.

The brief argues that the Environmental Protection Agency has the duty to protect human health from harmful pollution in ways outlined in the plan, which establishes federal limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The brief said evidence of the human cause of climate change is "undeniable."

"We face a moral imperative to protect the earth and all its inhabitants from a climate crisis of our own making," the brief said.

The document called the rule "a compromise position" and said the EPA could have demanded "greater and earlier reductions."

The filers "support EPA's diligent effort and agree that the rule is an essential part of fulfilling our collective obligation to curtail climate change," the brief said. "It is an important step, but it is hardly the radical leap that petitioners portray. In fact, the court should recognize that there is a valid argument to be made that the urgency of the problem demands more aggressive action."

Read More