Bishop John makes plea to prime minister ahead of COP28Friday 3rd November 2023
Bishop John has written a letter to prime minister, Rishi Sunak, calling for a multilateral and decisive response to our ecological crisis.
As Lead Bishop for Environmental Issues for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Bishop John is calling on our government to take a lead on environmental issues when politicians from across the world gather in Dubai for COP28 later this month.
Enclosed with his letter was a copy of Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum, a follow up to his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’.
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)
Echoing the words of the pontiff, Bishop John highlights that this is a global crisis, and that achieving a sustained reduction in carbon emissions will only happen with coordinated action at international level, and has therefore 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”.
Highlighting the role the Catholic community plays 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.
You can read Bishop John’s full letter by clicking here.