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Center President Lester A. Myers Endorses CIDSE Statement on Climate Change

Integral Ecology | Sun, Sep 29, 2013

By Les Myers

Lester A. Myers, President of Center of Concern, joins in support of the 17 chief executives of the Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE), an international alliance of lay Catholic development and advocacy organizations, who issued a statement today expressing concern and calling for action in response to the release of today’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding the near certainty that human activity is the source for the alarming effects of climate change, including global warming. 

The Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE), an international alliance of lay Catholic development and advocacy organizations, issued a statement today to express concern and call for action in response to the release of today’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding the near certainty that human activity is the source for the alarming effects of climate change, including global warming.

The chief executives of all 17 members of the alliance, who sit as the organization’s board of directors, signed the statement. Doctor Lester A. Myers, the president of the Center of Concern, in Washington, D.C., which represents the United States in the CIDSE alliance, commented:

The anthropogenic nature of climate change is beyond question. The issue now is for people around the world, especially in industrialized nations that have contributed disproportionately to carbon emissions and other practices that have harmed the environment, including extractive industries and disposal of waste, to demonstrate compassion, commitment, and creativity in honoring our duties to provide a safe and healthy environment to current and future generations.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris, in which Pope John XXIII expressed his valedictory hope that humanity would match global responses to global challenges through concerned and collective action for the common good. Climate change is just such a challenge, and it represents an existential threat to the planet. 

These short- and long-term harms from climate change fall disproportionately in the suffering that they externalize and inflict on the least well off around the world. This is a matter of social justice and the current situation is not just unsustainable. It is morally intolerable.

With today’s report from the IPCC, we have the science and, with the Catholic social tradition, we have the principled framework to guide our reflection, deliberation, and action. What the global community needs now, through public and private institutions, is resolve to match what we do with what we know and that for which we care.

The Center of Concern team has been doing its part by procuring all of its electricity through wind production, migrating from printing to electronic information management, recycling, telecommuting, promoting public transportation and carpooling, including environmental impact in its procurement decisions, and following other leading practices for sustainable operations. To honor the Center of Concern’s mission, the team will continue to enhance its practices to lead through example as well as through its research, education, and advocacy to promote the sustainable flourishing of the global community.


The Center of Concern is a social profit organization tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3) that researches, educates, and advocates from Catholic social tradition to create a world where economic, political, and cultural systems promote sustainable flourishing of the global community. Since its founding at the United Nations by Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., and National Conference of Catholic Bishops General Secretary Joseph Bernardin in 1971, it has operated in Washington, D.C., and in collaboration with local, national, and global allies, to promote social justice through its core competencies in ecology and development, faith and justice education, global women’s issues, and multilateral finance and human rights.

Media Inquiries to Carolyn Bain, Ph.D., Dir. of Communications, cbain@coc.org