Environment advocates consider Obama climate plan a good step forward

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses and wipes his forehead as he talks about his vision to reduce carbon pollution June 25 during a speech at Georgetown University in Washington. (CNS photo/Larry Downing, Reuters)
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses and wipes his forehead as he talks about his vision to reduce carbon pollution June 25 during a speech at Georgetown University in Washington. (CNS photo/Larry Downing, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholics working for environmental justice welcomed President Barack Obama’s plan to address climate change, saying it is an ambitious proposal that deserves watching to ensure that it is carried out. The primary concern identified by the faith-based environment advocates revolves around how the plan will affect low-income communities around the world and workers who may be displaced because of the shift toward renewable energy sources.

“It seems ambitious and it seems like it’s hitting all the right notes in terms of meeting some basic moral criteria that the bishops have,” Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, told Catholic News Service June 25. “But the proof will be in the pudding to see if the administration can be sure these plans don’t add additional burdens to poor people,” Misleh said. “It’s nice to see the administration doing something significant about climate change. … The question for Catholics (is), ‘Are we promoting our economic good or are we promoting the common good?'”