Below is an extract from a letter sent by Fr. Mike Deep OP
We call on all Dominicans and all Dominican communities to play their part in the salvation of our planet by:
1. Continuing to educate ourselves within various Dominican fora about climate change, its science and mitigation and adaptation strategies, and by investing in sending members to ecological and environmental education that shows the connection between these issues and all other issues.
2. Organising community meetings to become more informed of lifestyles that contribute to climate change, and to discuss how each community and each individual can adjust their lifestyles to model the changes that need to occur if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. This would include ways to implement sources of renewable energy in convents and motherhouses, reduce meat consumption and carbon-‐emitting transport.
3. Raising a permanent consciousness of the need for a personal response. We learnt of a worldwide movement where some people take turns to fast everyday to maintain such a consciousness. In line with our own religious tradition, a creative suggestion could be for each community to embark on such a fast with willing participants taking turns on a roster to fast daily and/or for communities to consider reverting back to fasting from meat on Fridays and joining the “Meatless Mondays” movement.
4. Continually advocating strongly with our own governments:
a. to reduce fossil-‐fuel energy generation -‐ using coal, gas (fracking), oil,… -‐ in favour of investing massively in renewable energy (solar, wind, water, wave,…).
b. to support, financially and otherwise, all other countries – especially poor, developing countries – to gain the necessary technology to effect such an energy generation conversion.
c. to invest massively in support systems for areas affected permanently by climate change (through typhoons, floods, droughts,…) so that people living there can still gain a livelihood and not be forced to become climate refugees.
5. Directing our ministry responses and investments in line with SDGs* that pertain to ecosystems’ conservation and restoration and with all other environmental
ministries that will contribute towards achieving the COP21 Paris Agreement goals.
6. Reviewing our Dominican rules/constitutions/statutes to take into account the integrity of creation, integral ecology and ecological conversion.To assist us on this journey, we hope to establish an ongoing virtual group that will continue this reflection and the promotion of climate justice. Anyone who wishes to join this group is welcome to contact Fr Aristide Basse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The UN General Assembly adopted its post-‐2015 development agenda in September 2015, on the same day that Pope Francis addressed the world’s leaders. Unlike other General Assembly meetings, the issue of climate change was placed front and center, along with its inextricable connection to the plight of those who are most marginalized and vulnerable. The new agenda – Agenda 2030 – includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): See
These 17 goals pick up where the Millennium Development Goals left off, with some very significant additions: the SDGs apply to all countries, not just the developing world; sustainability is to be at the core of future development; and climate change must be addressed if the needs of people and planet are to be met. In light of the agreement reached in Paris at the meeting of COP 21, these elements of the SDGs take on added significance: Goal 2 – promotion of sustainable agriculture; Goal 6 – availability and sustainable management of water; Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy for all; Goal 12 -‐ ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; Goal 13 – take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; Goal 14 – conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Regarding the SDGs, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “We want to change our world, and we can.” However, the only true test of commitment is implementation. Now that Agenda 2030 has been adopted, and there is a relatively positive outcome to the Paris Climate Summit, implementation becomes the responsibility of national capitals. This being the case, our role as members of civil society is more important than ever, in helping to ensure that the SDGs touch the lives of those who are most vulnerable, and that they are implemented in such a way that the integrity of Earth is respected.