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SR-37 (2015-2016)

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Enrolled  July 16, 2015
Passed  IN  Senate  July 16, 2015
Amended  IN  Senate  July 14, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Resolution No. 37


Introduced by Senator De León

June 29, 2015


Relative to public resources


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SR 37, De León.

WHEREAS, Pope Francis is a global defender of the poor and all victims of injustice, including those suffering the devastating impacts of climate change; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, released a Papal encyclical on June 18, 2015, in which he issues a clarion call to action on climate change and caring for the earth as our common home; and
WHEREAS, A Papal encyclical is considered the highest level of teaching of a pope on faith and morals; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis in his Papal encyclical recognizes that reversing global warming, halting the depletion of our resources, and combating environmental degradation falls upon us all: government, the private sector, and individuals; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis declares that the climate “is a common good, belonging to us all”; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis states that a solid scientific consensus indicates a disturbing warming of the climate, accompanied by rising sea levels and extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determined cause cannot be attributed to each phenomenon; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis states that the problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the dominion of the planet and the intensive use of fossil fuels while failing to accept moral responsibility for the degrading global consequences of an unsustainable energy system; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis sees an urgent need for a robust dialogue that includes the voices of all, especially those most marginalized, to develop policies so that in the near future the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced by finding alternatives to fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis states, “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature”; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis states everyday experience and scientific research show that the gravest effects of all attacks on the environment are suffered by the poorest; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis states that a true ecological approach must integrate questions of social and environmental justice in debates on the environment, “so as to hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor”; and
WHEREAS, California has already begun to incorporate questions of social and environmental justice in its approach to climate control, focusing resources to combat environmental degradation in California’s poorest communities; and
WHEREAS, The California Legislature recognizes the alarming rate of global warming caused by fossil fuels and the urgent need to continue to work toward a low-carbon economy, while fighting environmental degradation in our poorest communities and increasing their access to cleaner energy; and
WHEREAS, California is home to more Catholics than any other state in the nation with nearly one in three residents who self-identify as Christians being Catholic; and
WHEREAS, the Papal encyclical is anticipated to be not only of great importance in parishes throughout California, the nation, and world, but it is also expected to have significant political ramifications; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That members of the Legislature review and take into account the Papal encyclical on climate change in relevant legislative actions; and be it further
Resolved, That the Governor and executive branch of state government consider the implications of the Papal encyclical and climate change in their policy and fiscal actions to prevent further environmental degradation; and be it further
Resolved, That appropriate policy committees of the Legislature convene hearings to consider the policy implications of the Papal encyclical and seek testimony from religious leaders, state officials, environmental organizations, business groups, and the general public; and be it further
Resolved, That the United States Congress and President Obama consider the implications of the Papal encyclical and climate change in their policy and fiscal actions to prevent further environmental degradation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.