Media CenterIPCC Synthesis Report on Climate Change Presents an Opportunity for Action, Says CRS

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(571) 263-1193


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, March 20, 2023 –  Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president of Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement in response to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Synthesis Report.

"The latest IPCC report is equivalent to a preventative health screening that catches cancer before it metastasizes beyond the point of intervention. As a result of its historic and rigorous research, we now know that the climate is warming and that human activities are primarily to blame. We know climate change is causing sea level rise; more frequent and intense heat waves; increased incidents of flash flooding; more intense and prolonged droughts; and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like cyclones. According to the IPCC, these effects will continue to intensify in the coming decades, even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 

The IPCC’s findings echo what our partners and those we serve in more than 110 countries have been experiencing and communicating to us for years.

Yet while the IPCC findings could be perceived as fatalistic, we see them as an opportunity to change course with bold action. For example, the United States can lead international efforts to curb emissions and adequately fund climate change adaptation efforts. As the wealthiest nation on Earth, what the U.S. does, or does not do, in the next few years matters tremendously.

With the IPCC’s evidence as our guiding light, let us heed the words of the Holy Father, who said, '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.’"

Read more about CRS’ climate change policy recommendations and CRS’ climate change campaign.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Tags: Advocacy
Kim Pozniak

Director of Communications

Kim Pozniak
March 21, 2023

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the Director of Communications, Kim oversees the communications and social media teams working with journalists and the media to connect them with engaging stories about relief and development programs that are making a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.

Her previous work at CRS includes handling emergency...More