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RELEASE: New CAP Column and Infographic Reveal Religious Americans’ Views on Climate Change and Call Policymakers to Action

Washington, D.C. — Following last week’s release of Pope Francis’s second encyclical “Laudato Si,” the Center for American Progress released a column today demonstrating the potential effect the document could have on domestic environmental policy. The column also highlights how the encyclical builds upon a long history of faith-based environmental activism and calls on policymakers to act on the issue of climate change.

“Leading climate scientists agree that as the climate continues to warm, the negative effects on the global ecosystem will intensify,” said Myriam Alexander-Kearns, Research Associate for the Energy Policy team at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the column. “Vulnerable communities that lack the resources necessary to prepare for and recuperate from these increasingly severe weather events are at greatest risk.”

CAP also released an infographic on religious Americans’ views and opinions on climate change. The infographic reveals that more than 8 in 10 religious Americans feel a responsibility to “protect future generations, respect and take care of the earth, and prevent human suffering and harm.”

“’Laudato Si’ reinforces that the need for sustained climate action is not just backed by science—it’s a moral imperative,” said Claire Markham, Outreach Manager for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the column. “Communities of faith are in the unique position of being able to inspire both the public and policymakers to meaningfully act on climate issues that affect the entire global family.”

The eager acknowledgment of Pope Francis’s second encyclical represents an opportunity for worldwide religious and environmental advocacy organizations to work together to advance their shared goals for the planet and its citizens.

Click here to read the column.

Click here to view the infographic.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at or 202.478.5328.