Holy Committed: The Role of Religion in Biden’s Environmental Policymaking

By: Grace Chisholm

April 28, 2022

Spring 2022 Student Symposium: REWA Minors

This paper explores the link between Catholic environmental theology, Pope Francis’ climate advocacy, and President Joe Biden’s environmental policy. I examine the historical relationship between the Church and the environment, both leaders’ rhetoric and policy proposals, and the goals of the Biden administration’s diplomacy-focused strategy to combatting climate change. I seek to illuminate the influence of Biden’s religious beliefs on his climate plans, arguing that Biden’s Catholicism informs, but does not explain, his approach to the environment. Long-engaged in climate-related advocacy, Biden’s embrace of religious authority on environmental issues serves to bolster U.S. climate diplomacy at home and abroad.


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