The Lead Bishop for Environmental Issues for the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop John Arnold, has written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, enclosing a copy of Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum.
Highlighting how the Catholic community plays its part in addressing the global climate crisis, such as through the Guardians of Creation project, Bishop Arnold has appealed to Mr Sunak to take further climate action and better champion existing action taking place across civil society.
Acknowledging that this is a global crisis, and that achieving a sustained reduction in carbon emissions will only happen with coordinated action at international level, Bishop Arnold has asked Mr Sunak’s Government to assume a “real global leadership role” to ensure that commitments made at COP meetings are kept – especially at the upcoming COP28 talks in Dubai in November. These outcomes will be key to warding off what the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has called a looming “climate catastrophe”.
Laudate Deum, which was released on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on 4 October, notes that our care for each other as brothers and sisters made in the image of God is bound together with our care for God’s creation. It recognises that ecological concerns and good custodianship are intimately connected to the dignity of human life – especially to the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people who are most affected by extreme weather.
Whilst heralding the role that individuals and communities play in bringing about cultural change when it comes to climate action, Pope Francis in Laudate Deum writes “the most effective solutions will not come from individual efforts alone, but above all from major political decisions on the national and international level.” (LD 69)
Read the letter
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, will be held from 30th November until 12th December 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai.