Obama Officials Deem Fighting Climate Change a 'Moral Obligation'

President Obama and Pope Francis
President Obama and Pope Francis / AP
July 13, 2015

Obama administration officials are labeling fighting climate change a "moral obligation" for world leaders.

U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy and Obama-nominated U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Kenneth F. Hackett published a joint blog post on the EPA website Monday praising Pope Francis for dedicating his second encyclical to urging swift action on global warming.

"He makes clear our moral obligation to prevent climate impacts that threaten God’s creation, especially for those most vulnerable," they write, referring to the crusade against global warming as a "moral obligation" three separate times throughout the 600-word post.

McCarthy and Hackett continue:

As public servants working in both domestic policy and diplomacy, we understand the urgent need for global action. Climate impacts like extreme droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, and storms threaten people in every country -- and those who have the least suffer the most. No matter your beliefs or political views, we are all compelled to act on climate change to protect our health, our planet, and our fellow human beings.

The brief article touts the EPA’s forthcoming rule to curb carbon pollution at power plants, claiming that it will prevent "hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and thousands of heart attacks" in 2030.

During his State of the Union address at the start of this year, President Obama sidestepped issues like terrorism and economic distress to characterize climate change as the greatest threat to future generations of Americans.

"I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.  I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action," Obama said during his remarks in January.