Climate Change Action in the Southwest and the Speak up for the Love of….Rally Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Pictures with Father John, CAFOD volunteer James Ronan andyouth group members Hannah Davenport with her two sisters Rebecca and Natasha

Pictures with Father John, Geoffrey Cox MP, CAFOD volunteer James Ronan and youth group members Hannah Davenport with her two sisters Rebecca and Natasha

Supporters from Diocesan parishes and schools across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset have been taking part in CAFOD’s One Climate One World campaign, calling upon our political leaders to take action to prevent climate change pushing people deeper into poverty and to support the transition from polluting fossil fuels to sustainable energy for all. On top of this, our supporters have been making their own pledges to play their part in making changes to the way they live their lives to better love their neighbours and care for God’s creation.

Across the Diocese of Plymouth 30% of parishes have taken part with thousands of postcards distributed. As the general election approaches it is important not only to understand the key issues of the world we live in but also to act on them. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of the world’s leading scientists, countries like the Philippines could become even more vulnerable to strong typhoons over the coming years if we don’t tackle climate change now.

90% of people die in natural disasters

90% of people die in natural disasters

As well as extreme storms such as typhoons, as a result of changes in climate communities around the world are also facing unreliable rainfall, leading to failing crops.  Pollution from non-renewable energies (fossil fuels) such as coal, oil and gas make a huge contribution to climate change. Current projections suggest that over the next 20 years up to 200 million people will be at risk of hunger if the planet sees the possible 2-3 C rise in temperature. As people of faith we can’t stay silent in the face of this potential suffering. And we can’t stand by while millions of people are pushed deeper into poverty. We must look to Christ as our role model and love one another as he has loved us.

Climate change is the single biggest threat to the things we love, both here in the UK and overseas. But it is not yet irreversible! The solutions are here. There are many ways we can reduce the threats and work towards a better future. And coming up, there are some great opportunities to do just that. Let’s not lose what we love to climate change just because no one knew we cared.

Sinteyo and womens group in Leparua, Kenya with their solar panels

Sinteyo and womens group in Leparua, Kenya with their solar panels

2015 is a crucial year in the fight against climate change and its impacts. The election of a new government and the decisions they take could protect all we hold dear and contribute real leadership at the United Nations Climate talks in Paris this December, where world leaders will meet to hopefully agree a legally binding and universal agreement on climate to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

We all need to make sure December’s UN climate talks produce the best agreement possible. This is a real opportunity for our new government to take a global lead in these negotiations, but we are also looking to all our new MPs to show leadership and to act on climate change throughout the entire time they represent us in Parliament. However, there’s also a lot of pressure for them to keep the status quo, and they will only take bold steps if they know they have a huge amount of support from the public to counterbalance the vested interests trying to keep things as they are.

Scientists say with 95 certainty that Climate Change is caused by human activity IPCC fifth assessment report

Scientists say with 95 certainty that Climate Change is caused by human activity IPCC fifth assessment report

If this is the case, if things remain unchecked, climate change will make life significantly harder for the majority of people, especially the world’s poor who can least afford to adapt. Globally, climate change anywhere on the scale predicted by the IPCC will have substantial to severe impacts on food and water, economic growth, and health, undermining and often reversing the hard fought for gains made on reducing poverty around the world.

CAFOD works on behalf of the Catholic community to fight poverty and help people caught up in disasters. That’s why we’re speaking up with over 100 like-minded organisations, as part of The Climate Coalition, to put climate change at the forefront of public debate in 2015 to ensure a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal that protects the poorest of our sisters and brothers .

CAFOD Campaigners at the Wave Climate Rally 2009

CAFOD Campaigners at the Wave Climate Rally 2009

As the first phase of One Climate One World postcard campaign ends, a new phase of our campaigning begins. We’re currently making plans to play our part in the Climate Coalition’s mass lobby of parliament Speak up for the Love of… which will take place on Wednesday, 17 June at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. This time, our help is needed to call on our newly elected MPs and Government to act to reduce the impact of climate change and our dependence on polluting fossil fuels. This is a crucial time to act because it will be only one month on from the General Election, and through the mass lobby we can impress upon our new Government the need for their urgent leadership in 2015 to tackle climate change.

Speak up for the love of

The Speak up for the Love of… mass lobby will be a day of action and solidarity, and a celebration of all the things we love which are affected by climate change. It will be a chance to talk with our newly elected MPs after May’s General Election, and the day will include an ecumenical service and an interfaith moment to reflect our universal mandate to care for creation. It will also include craft activities for all ages, a rally with music and inspiring celebrity speakers. Most importantly it will be our big opportunity to show politicians that we care about poverty and expect them to take the lead in tackling climate change.

1 in 5 of the world have no access to electricity

1 in 5 of the world have no access to electricity

People from the Diocese of Plymouth and across the UK will be travelling up to London on 17 June to make their voices heard outside the Houses of Parliament. 10,000 people on the day will be meeting with their MPs in the streets of Westminster to talk about the issues of climate change and the impacts it has on the environment and those in poverty. This June it’s our chance to build on all the progress we’ve made, and a great opportunity to get our MPs to spread the word about the issues that we are most passionate about. Please do come and join us on the 17th and help make a difference, make your voice heard!

You can sign up to attend Speak up for the Love of Rally in London on June 17th here:

http://www.cafod.org.uk/Events/Climate-change-lobby

More information can be found here:

http://www.theclimatecoalition.org/events/speak-love-climate-lobby

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