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Washington, D.C.– Bread for the World calls on the U.S. government—the administration and Congress—to quickly begin implementing the historic climate accord reached over the weekend. The accord is the culmination of nine years of negotiations to forge a new international agreement on climate change, and was agreed to by more than 180 countries.
“This historic agreement will put us on a path to reducing greenhouse emissions and helping the most vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change,” said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute. “We appreciate the leadership the United States, and President Obama in particular, have shown in making this agreement a reality. It has taken a lot to get to this point, but now that we are here, it is time to move forward and deal with this urgent problem.”
Climate change is already wreaking havoc on countries across the world, including the U.S., where it is responsible for droughts, flooding, and severe weather events such as Superstorm Sandy. According to the White House, climate and weather disasters cost the American economy more than $100 billion in 2012 alone. If left unabated, climate change will increase hunger and poverty both in the U.S. and throughout the world.
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 world will not be able to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030 without confronting this global challenge.
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.
“Just a few years ago, many thought that reaching an accord like this would be impossible,” said Faustine Wabwire, senior foreign assistance policy analyst at Bread for the World Institute. “But here we are, with almost every nation agreeing to cut their carbon emissions. It is truly a historic moment for our country and the planet.”
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