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Washington, D.C.– As world leaders gather at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, Bread for the World today called for decisive action on climate change. If left unabated, climate change will increase hunger and poverty throughout the world.
“Changing climate patterns are already causing droughts, floods, and extreme weather events across the globe. People, communities, and countries that are poor will be hardest hit by the effects of climate change. Climate change will also have a devastating impact on global food security,” said Asma Lateef, director of the Bread for the World Institute. “While the United States and others have taken some steps to address global warming, clearly much more needs to be done if we are to prevent the looming crisis.”
Some members of Congress have already announced they will try to block funding President Obama has promised to help poor nations fight climate change unless the Senate is allowed to vote on any agreement made in Paris. The Paris Climate Conference is the culmination of years of negotiations to try to forge a new international agreement on climate change.
Bread for the World Institute’s background paper, “Hunger and Climate Change: What’s the Connection?” highlights the effects of climate change on people who are poor and marginalized. Bread for the World believes the global community will not be able to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030, goals recently agreed upon in the Sustainable Development Goals, without confronting climate change.
In addition, Pope Francis’ much-heralded encyclical, Laudato Si, or "Praised Be," underscores the collective moral responsibility of the Catholic Church and all peoples to address climate change. It draws a clear link between changing global weather patterns and hunger.
“Climate change threatens to quickly undo the steady global progress we have made against hunger and extreme poverty,” said Faustine Wabwire, senior foreign assistance policy analyst at Bread for the World Institute. “Most of those affected are already poor and marginalized and become more impacted as climate change speeds up. We will not be able to end hunger and poverty unless our leaders take decisive action now.”
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Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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