Human Dignity and Solidarity


Illinois State Legislation

In the spirit of Laudato Si’, a Catholic Conference of Illinois statement (CCI) was issued encouraging renewable energy development in Illinois that respects the human dignity of all and aids the poor and vulnerable. In 2021, legislation was passed called the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act SB2408 (CEJA).

The Illinois bishops have not taken a position on CEJA legislation, but CEJA addresses many of their recommendations on advancing renewable energy development, increasing energy efficiency, reinvesting in communities and provisions to increase job opportunities in Illinois’ clean energy workforce.

As Pope Francis states in Laudato Si’, the “climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.” (23) It is with concern for this common good that we urge Illinois to continue its progress on the path to increased renewable and clean energy, accompanied by significant reductions in pollution and carbon emissions, support for rural communities in our state, increased access to clean water, and addressing other environmental blights on our common home, the Earth.



Energy Initiatives for Parishes and Schools


A major area of concern and focus in of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ is our changing climate. In the spirit of Laudato Si’, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a welcoming statement in 2019 introduced legislation called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA). This legislation put a small but annually increasing fee on the carbon emissions of fossil fuel producers. The money collected from fossil fuel companies would be rebated back to every US household as a periodic “dividend” check. This would prevent economic harm, especially to the poor and middle-class families, when fossil fuel prices increased. The goal of this type of carbon pricing legislation is to price fossil fuels to reflect their full cost and to encourage people to switch to cheaper clean energy, to slow climate change.

Pope Francis has said that a “failure to deal with carbon emissions has incurred a vast debt that will now have to be repaid with interest by those coming after us...” He went on to say, “…carbon pricing is essential if humanity is to use the resources of creation wisely.” Since there are different possible ways being considered to address climate change, the USCCB has urged that any legislation under consideration include these guidelines.