CAFOD's past climate campaigns

In communities where CAFOD works, many are suffering from more frequent and extreme floods, storms, or droughts, pushing the most vulnerable people further into poverty. Farmers struggle with more unpredictable seasons, with crops failing and livestock dying from a lack of food and water. Out of love for our sisters and brothers worldwide, we at CAFOD are called to respond and have been doing so through our past campaigns.

The Time is Now - mass lobby of Parliament

Faith leaders do the Walk of Witness bearing a banner for The Time is Now

Faith leaders do the Walk of Witness bearing a banner for The Time is Now

Climate change affects our health, our homes and our beautiful landscapes and things are getting urgent now. This is not the legacy that we want to leave for our grandchildren; this is not the future we want. As people of faith, we’re determined to speak up for our common home.

On 26 June 2019, we said enough is enough. As part of the Climate Coalition, we joined an estimated 12,000 people from around the country and took to the streets around Westminster to lobby our MPs. We called for action on climate change and environmental protection to go further, faster. With over 350 MPs coming out to meet their constituents, we know our voices have been heard.

Power to be

CAFOD ambassadors join the Power to be campaign.

CAFOD ambassadors join the Power to be campaign. 

Every child has the power in them to achieve great things. But with one in six people still living without electricity, the hopes of millions of the world’s children are too often a distant dream.

Local, renewable energy is usually the cheapest, fastest and most efficient solution to bring power to the poorest communities. It can help families to lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the world we share. 

More than 30,000 of you signed our Power to be petition, calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world's poorest people. Thousands of parishioners urged the World Bank to stop funding polluting fossil fuels. 100 schools in England and Wales also got involved. Children drew their version of Sun Power and wrote powerful messages to the World Bank. 

Power to the people

Pope Francis has encouraged people to switch to renewable energy

Before Power to be launched, more than 3,700 of you signed a petition, emailed or tweeted Nick Hurd MP – who was International Development Minister until the 2016 government reshuffle – to ask him to help the one-in-five people around the world who lack the electricity necessary to light homes, cook safely, and set up businesses.

When Nick Hurd became the Minister for Climate Change and Industry, he told us at a reception in Parliament that he accepted your challenge. He wrote a letter of thanks to you, saying: “I welcome your support on this issue and agree that energy access is a priority.”

The Minister also spoke about the importance of solar power at the Africa Energy Forum in London following calls from dozens of you on Twitter:

One Climate, One World

CAFOD campaigners in Paris for the December climate talks

CAFOD campaigners in Paris for the December climate talks

In 2015, we responded to Pope Francis' call to care for our common home by campaigning for an ambitious global climate change deal which put the poorest people at its heart. Nearly half of all MPs in the UK were lobbied on climate change when 9,000 passionate people turned up at Parliament to make a stand. CAFOD supporters from all over the country were there in force to speak up about the impact climate change is having on people living in poverty. Later in the year, over 40,000 people in the UK added their names to a global Catholic petition calling for action at the Paris climate change talks.

Public pressure like ours contributed to the agreement of a strong climate deal in Paris, which put the world on the path to a low-carbon future, stated that temperature increases must stay well below 2°C, and ideally be kept to 1.5°C, and reaffirmed the commitment of developed countries to support poorer countries financially to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Campaign on climate change today

Climate facts
  • Over the next 20 years up to 200 million more people could be at risk of hunger if we don't take further steps to address the causes of climate change.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the lead authority on climate change science) says with 95% certainty that human activity is the main cause of climate change.
  • Pollution from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas make a huge contribution to climate change.

Campaigning with others

Young CAFOD volunteers protesting on climate change

Young CAFOD volunteers wait to meet their MP at the climate change speak up lobby 

In Laudato Si', Pope Francis says we must work together to tackle climate change, and we continue our long-standing tradition of campaigning in coalition with others. As part of The Climate Coalition, alongside over 100 organisations with millions of supporters across the UK, we call for politicians to stop climate change and promote sustainable development by:

  • preventing climate change pushing people deeper into poverty
  • supporting the transition from polluting fossil fuels to sustainable energy for all
  • participating in important conversations on climate change through Show the love.

We also campaign on climate change and justice as part of Catholic networks CIDSE, Caritas International and the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

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