Change and forthright leadership on climate change ‘urgently required’ – Bishop Martin Hayes

14 Sep, 2021 | News

The Justice and Peace regional groups of the Council for Justice and Peace – a council of the Irish Bishops’ Conference – will hold a short webinar on Wednesday 15 September at 7.30pm on the topic of ‘Healthy Planet and Healthy People – the Catholic Petition’.

Welcoming this initiative, Bishop Martin Hayes, a member of the ‘Laudato Si Working Group’, encouraged people to join the webinar and, moreover, to sign the petition. Bishop Hayes said “During this Season of Creation, as we prayerfully reflect on God’s gift of our common home, it is vitally important that we use every opportunity to put before our political leaders their solemn duty to tackle, in a serious way, the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis that confronts us.

“Pope Francis’ attendance at the COP26 in Glasgow, in November, is a powerful expression of the Catholic Church’s commitment to saving our planet at this crucial time.  The joint message issued by the Holy Father, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch in recent days, points again to our responsibility, regardless of faith or worldview, to listen to the cry of the earth and of the poor who are suffering and at risk because of climate change.  This petition is an important statement from Catholics and others that change and forthright leadership on this question is urgently required.”

Bishop Hayes concluded, “The petition is noted by the Vatican as the key advocacy action for Catholics during this Season of Creation.  Let us all play our part; in the words of Pope Francis, ‘for we know that things can change …’ (Laudato Si, 13).”

‘The Healthy Planet and Healthy People Petition’ is an initiative of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.  It is aimed at the forthcoming UN Conferences on Climate Change (COP26) and Biodiversity (COP15).  Many organisations are being asked to partner with this petition worldwide in order to promote it.  In Ireland, Trócaire, AMRI and many religious congregations have partnered with the petition and it is already promoted extensively in the new pastoral letter from the Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin, The Cry of the Earth – The Cry of the Poor.

The petition asks:

Addressed to the Presidents of COP15 (China) and COP26 (Glasgow) this petition demands that world leaders:

  • Tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis together
  • Limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and promise no more biodiversity loss
  • Ensure equitable global action, including support for those most affected
  • Protect and respect human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in climate and biodiversity action

Full text of the petition is available at and the Zoom information for the webinar is available on



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