As people of faith, we recognize our responsibility to care for God’s creation and tο preserve the sacred gift of its natural resources. As Mainers, we recognize that we live in the sole state with both senators (Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins) on the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. In short, we have both urgency and agency. The threat of accelerating climate change requires bold and effective climate policies to sustain the biodiversity of our planet and reduce the carbon emissions released into our atmosphere. At stake is human health and global prosperity, the flourishing of life and prevention of suffering.

In last year’s unprecedented joint message for the protection of creation, the worldwide leaders of the Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopal communions emphasized addressing climate change is the moral imperative of our time. We therefore call on our leaders – political and corporate, civil and community – to accelerate their efforts to phase out the carbon pollution that chiefly fuels the climate crisis.

While we recognize that an array of solutions are necessary, we agree with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which encourages making amends for industrial carbon pollution with carbon pricing as a “necessary condition” for stabilizing the planet’s climate.

A carbon fee applied at the fossil fuel point of origin – whether an oil well, a coal mine, or a fracking site – galvanizes the power of market to incentivize efficiency and innovation in cleaner energy, while creating jobs and saving lives.

In fact, when the revenue from the price on carbon pollution is returned equally, low- and middle-income households enjoy a net-benefit since they carry a smaller carbon footprint than their wealthier households. Our Canadian neighbors are already enjoying carbon dividends, paid for by polluters and benefitting those most in need. This is why cashback carbon pricing has been supported in the U.S. by, among others, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Episcopal Church. But it is also supported internationally by Pope Francis, numerous economists and increasing numbers of faith, business and community leaders from diverse regions and disparate ideologies.

In fact, currently, the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world lacking a price on carbon pollution. The horrors of the Ukraine war have motivated the EU and U.K. to accelerate decarbonization to wean themselves from their dependence on authoritarian petrostates like Russia and Saudi Arabia. Starting in January, the EU, the U.K. and, likely thereafter, Canada will begin assessing carbon tariffs on imports from countries without a domestic carbon price (including the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia) as a way of encouraging global cooperation to adopt this equitable and effective policy.


As insulated as we might feel in our beautiful state, all of us now witness the adverse effect and local impact of global warming: rising sea levels, tick-borne diseases, and diminishing natural resources. This includes threatened lobster and defunct shrimp fisheries, harvests endangered by drought, and even less snow or ice for recreation. We don’t see as many moose as we used to.

Our children – and children all around the world – are increasingly at risk of heat-related illness and water-borne disease, including asthma, famine as well as conflict over diminishing resources and clean water. As the climate continues to warm, children and vulnerable populations around the globe face an increased risk of heat-related and waterborne illnesses, asthma, famine and conflicts over diminishing resources.

A study published in the journal Science warns that today’s children will likely live through three times the amount of climate disasters experienced by their grandparents. The above-mentioned message of the global church leaders emphasized that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable – namely, those least responsible for the changes of climate – are already suffering the greatest, as we observe from the growing legions of climate refugees.

As faithful stewards of God’s creation, we are called to foster ways of resolving the climate crisis. All of us – whomever and wherever we are – can play a part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation. This is a critical moment for our world – for our planet and for its people. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.

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