The IYCS in it's continuing commitment to address issues of environmental degradation and climate change, amidst the purported report that the new United States Administration is curtailing the free flow of scientific information and restricting the related exchange of ideas on these crucial problems wishes to again re-iterate its call to government to to invest now in the sustainable and ethical jobs that this and future generations of students and young people will occupy in the years to come.
Just a few days before the start of Catholic World Youth Day – a week of gatherings between Pope Francis and two million young Catholics in Krakow, Poland from Monday 25th to Sunday 31st July – the IYCS and IMCS both representing over 10 million young Catholic students did issued a statement (available online here) calling on governments to invest now in the sustainable and ethical jobs that this and future generations of students and young people will occupy in the years to come.
For us at the International Young Catholic Students (IYCS/JECI) and International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS-MIEC Pax Romana), together representing national Catholic student movements in over 100 countries, this statement is part of our acceptance of the invitation in Pope Francis’s June 2015 Encyclical Laudato Si’ to come together to, ‘discuss, debate, and celebrate our relationship with the environment, with each other, with economics, with work and with many other interconnected aspects of life’.
Given extremely high levels of youth unemployment in many countries and the Encyclical’s references to the ‘value of labour’, as students' Movement, we suggest the replacement of unsustainable jobs such as those in the fossil fuel industry with the ethical jobs of the future such as those in the clean energy sector should be a priority for governments.
‘If governments are serious about reducing youth unemployment in an ethical way without threatening the quality of life of future generations, they simply have to invest now in finding alternatives to those jobs which pollute the environment and contribute to climate change – and which all countries already agree cannot exist in the long term’.
We also call on other young people to ‘work and be actors of change in their communities’ in order to ‘create a new world marked by solidarity, ecologically responsible lifestyles, justice and peace’.
Our faith encourages us to lead by example in order to bring the best out of society, Together with governments and other young people, we have an opportunity going forward to reform our systems and ways of life for the better, protecting both our environment and human dignity.‘
The statement is just one of many global efforts to spread the message of the Encyclical during World Youth Day.
Read the full statement here