Will Pope Francis Answer the Climate Call of Health Leaders?

By path2positive

Nurses around the world are reminded daily of the devastating effect climate change is having on our health. As Asthma and other respiratory problems increase, health care officials are determined to act on climate change, and they are calling on everyone to join them.

Global Nurses United, an international coalition of nurses, requested an audience with Pope Francis to discuss:

  • How nurses and the Vatican can work together to confront the adverse health effects of the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and austerity.
  • Building an international alliance of nurses and faith leaders to work for more just societies, including recognition that health is a universal human right. 

National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro shared, "Together the moral authority of the Vatican as evidenced already by Pope Francis' groundbreaking encyclical on climate change, and the high public regard for nurses offers an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate international efforts to redress these health emergencies." Their online petition examines the commonality between the two camps, both of which bear a moral obligation to care for the world's most vulnerable. 

View the nurses' full petition here, and check out Climate for Health to see what health leaders are doing to act on climate change.


Nurses Invite Pope Francis to Meet on U.S. Visit to Discuss Health Effects of Climate, Environment Crisis 

OAKLAND, Calif., July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders of unions representing leading nurses and other healthcare workers in 18 countries from every major continent are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to the U.S. to discuss ways to work together to combat the alarming health effects of the climate crisis and other environmental degradation.

In an online petition posted today, Global Nurses United, including the U.S. based National Nurses United, the largest U.S. organization of nurses, is requesting an audience with Pope Francis to discuss:

How nurses and the Vatican can work together to confront the adverse health effects of the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and austerity. 
Building an international alliance of nurses and faith leaders to work for more just societies, including recognition that health is a universal human right.

View the petition at: http://www.congressweb.com/nnu/19

The impetus for the request derives from both the Pope's recent encyclical on the climate crisis, and the activism of nurses across the globe calling for action to confront the harmful effects, especially on public health, of climate change and a wide range of environmental ills.

"Together the moral authority of the Vatican as evidenced already by Pope Francis' groundbreaking encyclical on climate change, and the high public regard for nurses offers an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate international efforts to redress these health emergencies," said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro, a leader in the GNU.

In the encyclical, Pope Francis warned, "some forms of pollution are part of people's daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths. There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general."

Additionally, the encyclical notes, "Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."

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