The year 2021 was filled with despair. Laudato Si’ Movement heard the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor throughout the world. But there were also so many reasons for optimism and hope.
Laudato Si’ Movement presents 10 climate facts that help tell the story of 2021.
A sample of the number of new species discovered in 2021. Truly good news for God’s creation! One such specie was named after the late Sister Dorothy Stang, who was murdered while serving the people of the Amazon and caring for creation in Anapu, Pará, Brazil.
As Sister Judi Clemens of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur wrote, “The discovery of a new species of screech owl in the Amazon, between the Tapajos and Xingu rivers, received the scientific name of Megascops stangiae after [Sister Dorothy Stang].”
The number of newly endangered species, including animals and plants, threatened with extinction this year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. In total, there are 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List.
As Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si’, “Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right” (LS 33).
The numbers of degrees (Celsius) that the Earth has already warmed compared to pre-industrial times. The 2015 Paris Agreement calls to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.
The number of new Laudato Si’ Circles that were formed in 2021, a 54 percent increase. That jump brings the total number of small groups meeting to deepen their relationship with God as Creator and all members of creation to 801.
Parts per million, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s the highest it has been in human history, according to the United Nations.
The percentage of the world’s population that is exposed to deadly heat waves more than 20 days a year.
The number of people who signed the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition, calling for bold action and ambitious targets at the UN’s 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the UN Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15), which is scheduled to take place in-person from 25 April to 8 May 2022 in Kunming, China.
- 178 million
The number of hectares of forest the world has lost in the past three decades, according to the UN. That’s an area the size of Libya.
The number of countries that have agreed to end deforestation by 2030. The agreement was reached at COP26 in November.
The number of countries where the thousands of new Laudato Si’ Animators hailed from in 2021, showing the incredible diversity of this Spirit-led movement. Animators lead their communities in taking action for our common home.
WATCH: Top 10 highlights of Laudato Si’ Movement in 2021
Read and watch more:
- Top 10 highlights of Laudato Si’ Movement in 2021
- Why Catholics are about COP26
- Catholic Church and climate change: Why Catholics care about climate change
- Faith institutions announce largest-ever divestment from fossil fuels ahead of COP26
- Faith activists at COP26: ‘We are a small part of something much bigger’