Environment – Election 2024

Every organisation and individual in society has a particular responsibility to look after and nurture our common home.

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Each of the various creatures…reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.  

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 339 

God saw all he had made and indeed it was very good 

Genesis 1: 31 


Our responsibilities towards God’s creation have always been made clear in Scripture and Church teaching. Pope Francis’s encyclical letter, Laudato Si, has inspired Catholics, and many others, throughout the world to take action. In his more recent apostolic exhortation, Laudate Deum, Pope Francis repeated his very clear message to those who have the responsibility of political leadership: “What would induce anyone, at this stage, to hold on to power, only to be remembered for their inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so?” (Laudate Deum, 60) 

Many Catholics will regard climate change as the most urgent environmental issue we face. Its effects are already being felt across the world, often affecting the most vulnerable communities who have contributed least to the crisis. It is a challenge that can only be addressed by global co-operation together with support for countries that are less able to afford a transition away from carbon-intensive fuels. There are, however, other important policy issues related to the protection and nurturing of the natural environment. Responsibility for these may be shared between local and national governments and civil society organisations. We must never forget our own responsibilities in these areas. Pope Francis has repeatedly noted our individual actions help change culture. Government policy must ensure that we can all contribute to protecting biodiversity, expanding our green spaces and moving to net zero emissions. All of this plays a part in caring for our common home. 


Every organisation and individual in society has a particular responsibility for looking after and nurturing the natural environment. 

  • Our government should adopt credible policies to reduce carbon emissions and assist poorer countries to meet their targets and obligations. 
  • Whilst recognising that difficult trade-offs might exist, such as with the need to ensure adequate housing, government at all levels should ensure that other aspects of the natural environment are nurtured and appropriate policies adopted to protect communities from the effects of climate change. 
  • In appropriate ways, governments should help and work with other institutions in society (such as schools and faith communities) make their own contributions to reducing carbon emissions. 

What are your candidate’s views?

You may want to consider these questions when speaking to candidates seeking election.

  • Do candidates support credible policies for the delivery of net zero by 2050, including a transition away from the use of fossil fuels? 
  • Do they support the UK government in providing clear leadership in the global endeavour to reduce carbon emissions?  
  • Do they support policies to help poorer countries meet their obligations and targets and address the increasing risk of climate disasters?
  • What policies do candidates support at national and local level to promote the natural environment and biodiversity? 
  • Are they willing to work with faith communities to protect our common home? 


The Call of Creation by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. You can read/download below.

Laudato Si, encyclical letter of Pope Francis. You can read/download below.

Laudate Deum, apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis

Bishop John Arnold asks leaders to take environmental issues seriously.