CAFOD welcomes UK ratification of Paris climate change deal

18 November 2016

CAFOD supporters are celebrating as the UK joins the list of 111 countries to have ratified the Paris climate change Agreement, which came into force on 4 November 2016.

The Agreement, negotiated in December 2015, makes clear the world must transition to a low carbon future and invest in a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It says temperature increases must stay well below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, opens the door to five-yearly reviews, with the first global stock-take to take place in 2018. 

Listening to Pope Francis

In 2015, over 40,000 Catholics in the UK rallied behind Pope Francis’s call to care for our common home and global neighbours by joining our One Climate, One World campaign to urge world leaders to act on climate change and in support of renewable energy.

Alongside other members of The Climate Coalition, CAFOD supporters spoke with hundreds of MPs, including the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Climate Change Minister, as part of a week of action in October 2016. The progress of the Paris Agreement shows a clear commitment to global action.

CAFOD Advocacy Director Neil Thorns said: “Ratification provides an opportunity to appreciate how far we’ve come. Paris was an unprecedented achievement – 197 countries overcoming vested interests to provide an unambiguous direction for the future of the world economy.

“This achievement has only been exceeded by the pace at which the Agreement has been ratified by countries, thus coming into force years quicker than comparable treaties. If we’re not prepared to recognise the scale of these victories then we will struggle to maintain the momentum. We will lack the necessary energy for upcoming battles.”

Shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy

A shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is crucial to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement. CAFOD and our friends at organisations such as the Overseas Development Institute and Christian Aid have shown how off-grid renewable energy is the safest, cleanest, cheapest and most reliable way of ending energy poverty. That’s why we’re calling on the UK government to invest in renewable energy that benefits the poorest communities overseas.

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