Pope Francis’s Laudate Deum exhortation calls on governments and other stakeholders to step forward and responsibly address the climate emergency. This crisis afflicts God’s beloved creation, and our poorest and most vulnerable sisters and brothers above all. We’re called to play a role in encouraging our national leaders to step up.
Laudate Deum was released just a few weeks before the UN climate negotiations that will take place in Dubai this December. These negotiations are the 28th annual Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They are often referred to by the abbreviation “COP28.”
Countries are now finalizing their negotiating positions for COP28. It is important that we all advocate for our national leaders to arrive in Dubai with clear commitments to implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.
Here are a few simple ways to encourage your government to make an ambitious commitment to a liveable future:
- Pray. You may wish to pray along with Laudate Deum that “those taking part in the Conference be strategists capable of considering the common good and the future of their children, more than the short-term interests of certain countries or businesses” or with the statement made by Pope Francis for the Season of Creation, which encourages all to “heed our call to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to the senseless war against creation.”
- Make at least one social media post to say “We need clear, actionable, concrete plans to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement at #COP28. [Name of person] must get us there.” Mention the name of the “national focal point” for UN climate negotiations in your country. Find the name of your national focal point here.
- Contact your national legislator to encourage him or her to support ambitious national climate policies. Find contact information for your national legislator by searching for “national legislator for [name of your city or state/province].” An email or phone call could simply state something such as this: “As a Catholic, I am aware of the need to protect God’s creation from the climate crisis. As we approach the COP28 negotiations, we must ensure that our national climate plans are aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Please tell me more about your specific, concrete policies to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
- Encourage the leaders of your institution such as a parish, diocese, university, religious congregation, or NGO, to publish a statement on COP28 and Laudate Deum. Institutional leadership sends an important signal to national policy makers. A statement might include the fact that as a participant in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, you strongly support clear, concrete policies to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.