[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, bishop in charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, issued the following statement June 2 in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the the Paris Agreement, a 2015 pledge to limit climate change signed by 196 nations.
Dear people of good will,
I invite you to read the statement on President Trump’s decision to quit the Paris Climate Accord by the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. He notes that the Episcopal Church is not a purely American denomination but ministers in sixteen other countries.
Including six of our own here in Europe. We all need to do more. Now we need to think anew and pray — then act — about the challenges to our very survival as a species. God will not swoop down to remake the Earth if we ruin it — we were made its stewards, like it or not, and our decisions matter, for better and for worse.
Dean Lucinda Laird, the people of the Cathedral, and I welcomed the COP21 participants to Paris and spent many hours encouraging and supporting. We in Paris saw how much went into crafting the COP21 accord. The accord was far from perfect, of course, yet the effort was enormous just to get there. For those of us who are Americans living in Europe, we know what a blow this decision to withdraw is to the image of the United States and the “soft power” that our nation has wielded.
I pray that this new development will nevertheless be an opportunity to make a new and better agreement.
“What can one person do?” I am sure you will be asking yourself. Much! Start by praying for wisdom and strength. Then, read Pope Francis’ enormously influential encyclical here.
But read Bishop Michael Curry’s words first… Let’s get started! On next Sunday, Trinity Sunday, we will read the story of the creation. This is a good initial opportunity to reflect together on what it means to be God’s managers of “this planet Earth, our island home.” We are responsible for it.
Bishop Pierre Whalon