Columbans Reiterate Opposition to Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

Washington, DC - This afternoon while attending an oil and gas conference in Pittsburgh, PA, President Trump reaffirmed his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The United States is eligible to submit its withdrawal notice on November 4th, 2019. It takes one year from the date of submission to fully break from the agreement.

It was on June 1, 2017, that the President first announced his intent to withdraw from the agreement. At the time, the Columban Center released a statement which strongly opposed the President's intentions. Unfortunately, today we must re-release that statement.


June 2017 statement: Columbans serve communities across the globe who daily face the devastating impacts of a dramatically changing climate. Our mission experience of living with poor communities impacted by environmental degradation compels us to work for the full restoration of our relationships with all of creation.  

Scott Wright, Director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach , responded:  “Columbans around the world stand strongly opposed to this decision. Withdrawal from this crucial agreement directly jeopardizes the health and sustainability of our common home, including vulnerable communities both at home and abroad.”  

Climate change is an unprecedented phenomenon in recent human history, affecting every aspect of life. The magnitude, severity, and urgency of climate change is difficult to fathom. Our response to the crisis of climate change must be prophetic, both for the well-being of the vulnerable and the planet. Withdrawal from the agreement undercuts our positive relationship with the rest of the world, jeopardizing cooperation on many global efforts and weakening our response as one global family united in our efforts to respond to the destruction of climate change. 

This shortsighted refusal by the administration to prophetically address climate change will have consequences. It will exacerbate the negative effects of climate change, including forced migration, food insecurity, conflict, and disease, to name only a few. These impacts will be primarily borne by the most vulnerable who contribute to climate change the least.  

Called by our faith and the reality of those we serve around the world, Columbans will continue to stand against policies that negatively affect the communities we serve, our common home, and the poor and vulnerable who inhabit it.  


For more information
Contact: Wesley Cocozello, Communications Coordinator
Office: 202-635-5814 | Email:

About the Columban Center
The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is a project of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. We believe that policies and decisions should be informed by the experiences of the people most impacted by those policies and decisions. We advocate for peace and justice, and are guided by the Gospels, Catholic Social Teaching, and the experience of Columban missionaries and the community they serve. 

Publication Date
October 23, 2019