Over half of Catholics (58%) in Great Britain feel the government has done too little to tackle climate change in the last year.
A YouGov poll for CAFOD, a leading international development charity and the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, also found that 56% of Catholics felt the government had done too little in general to tackle climate change.
The poll, commissioned in the run up to COP27, underlines the desire within the Catholic community for the government to do more to tackle climate change and support those affected by its deadly consequences.
The opinion poll was conducted between 24th and 26th October 2022, with a simple size of 3305 adults in Great Britain and included 212 Catholics.
Nearly half (48%) of Catholics also felt the government is not committed to meeting its target of Net Zero by 2050, or reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.
Bishop John Arnold, from the Diocese of Salford and Chair of CAFOD’s trustees, said:
“The environment cannot be isolated from our relationship with God. We are blessed with stewardship over the earth, but with this comes the responsibility to protect our planet and preserve it for future generations.
“For too long, we have been reliant on fossil fuels which are causing devastation to communities around the world. As the world’s eyes descend on COP27, I pray the government and world leaders will seize this opportunity and implement a plan to consign the use of harmful fossil fuels to history.”
Christine Allen, CAFOD’s CEO, said:
“It’s our Christian duty to protect our planet and pursue a sustainable future. The world is our common home and we must do more to protect it from devastation. It’s clear the Catholic and Christian community want the government to do more.
“The government needs to step up and do more to support those impacted by the climate crisis, as well as delivering on its promises to pursue policies which help build a sustainable future for our planet.”
Over a third of Catholics (37%) felt the government was doing too little to support poorer countries to tackle climate change, which is ramping up pressure on the government to do more ahead of COP27, which will take place in Egypt on 7 November 2022.
Developing countries have contributed very little to global greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are the ones who are suffering its consequences.
In Pakistan, hundreds of lives were lost recently to deadly floods, which destroyed swathes of communities. In Kenya, the worst drought for 40 years has seen crops and livestock decimated, leaving millions on the brink of starvation.
The poll also found that 52% of Christians felt the government had done too little to tackle climate change, with almost a third (30%) believing the government is doing too little to support poorer countries to tackle climate change.
Other findings from the poll include:
Just 20% and 24% of Catholics and Christians respectively believe the government is committed to its Net Zero target and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
24% of Catholics feel supporting farmers to grow food should be a priority for the overseas aid budget.
The opinion poll was conducted between 24-26 October 2022, with a simple size of 3,305 adults in Great Britain. It included 212 Catholics and 1,254 Christians.