Harriet gets her local MP on board against climate change

Recently, I travelled with CAFOD to the COP24 in Poland to hear what UN leaders had to

Harriet and her signed cross party letter

Harriet and her signed cross party letter

say about tackling climate change.

Although as campaigners, we had fire in our bellies, the same could not be said for the politicians who seemed concerned with economic agendas rather than the environment.  Coming home, we did not see the changes and progress we wanted from the conference. I would not let this dishearten me.

Reaching decision makers at the top level can feel like too far a stretch for most of us campaigners but we can make a difference.

Grass root changes really take root and grow into a strong voice. If each of us campaigners spoke to our local MPs and shared our concerns about the environment then that’s more people raising issues in UK government. Talk of the environment then spreads fast; it becomes a part of the political agenda if we demand it to be so.

MP David Hanson's tweet on climate change

MP David Hanson’s tweet on climate change

I wrote to my MP on my return and asked him to represent me and sign The Climate Coalition cross party letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May.  The letter is asking her to back a UK net zero emissions target ahead of 2050.

Within a week of sending my letter, I had a response. I was overjoyed to read how my MP had immediately signed the letter, and to hear of his common interest in the environment and the planet.

Since then, he has raised issues of climate change at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and he has publicly backed the development of wind power here in North Wales.

This goes to show that one simple letter to your MP can make a difference.

It is so simple to become an MP Correspondent, see how you can get involved and make a difference to our world.

Christmas greetings from CAFOD in North Wales

Christmas greetings from CAFOD in North Wales

Christmas greetings from CAFOD in North Wales

 

For unto us a child is born,

to us a son is given

And the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful counsellor, mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

 Thank you for all your support this year and we hope you have a blessed and joyful Christmas.

As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, it is wonderful that together we will continue to show God’s love to those who, like the child Jesus, are born in conditions of poverty, face the threat of persecution and are forced to flee their homeland.

We pray that God blesses you and your families at this special time and that your 2019 is filled with grace and hope. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year at one of our Lent briefings.

With best wishes,

Colette Byrne
Community Participation Coordinator, CAFOD, Wrexham Diocese

CAFOD Campaigners attend COP24 in Poland

On 5th December, I was privileged to join a team of CAFOD campaigners on a 24 hour coach journey to Katowice, Poland, where the COP24 (Conference of the Parties for the United Framework Convention on Climate Change) was taking place.

I’m sure you have all been following it in the news.

Our trip entailed getting to know other Catholic campaigners from across countries such as Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany, learning about their work in their own countries and the things they have been doing to try to tackle environmental issues.

CAFOD campaigners from the North West and North Wales credit Rosie Heaton

CAFOD campaigners from the North West and North Wales credit Rosie Heaton

The best day for us was Saturday 8th December, when we took to the streets of Katowice to join a march for Climate Justice, to show solidarity with the world’s poorest people who are affected the most by climate change.  It was brilliant to see such a great turnout overall, but in particular, to see CAFOD volunteers from across the country and spanning a wide age range, joining forces to be a loud voice for justice.

There was a great connection between the whole team, and we heard inspiring stories straight from people personally affected by Climate Change in their own countries such as Samoa, The Sami community in Sweden, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya.

It was a strong message to us as individuals to think about how we live our daily lives and how every action we take makes a difference, whether it’s taking a bus and leaving the car at home, having one less flight abroad a year, or changing our energy supply to 100% renewable energy.  And also a strong message to world leaders that they need to enforce changes within their own countries in order to reduce emissions and ensure our planet remains within a temperature of 1.5 degrees, otherwise the consequences are life threatening.

An interesting comment I heard from Joe, a Pacific Warrior from Samoa, was that people talk about Climate Change in the future tense, however, for people like him, Climate Change is very much present and already having a lasting impact on his community.

We need to work together to live more simply before it really is too late!