Generations Unite: Be part of CAFOD's new climate campaign
16 January 2020
2020 is a year of big international summits. It’s a chance for world leaders to put the Earth on a path to recovery and set a new agenda for the next decade.
Towards the end of the year, world leaders will gather in Glasgow for the UN global climate talks. As the host, the eyes of the world will be on the UK. But we won’t be credible leaders unless we get our own house in order first. This year we are asking the UK Government to make sure that people and planet are at the heart of all the decisions they make.
Each diocese has been partnered with a young climate leader or group to be inspired by and walk with during 2020. Parishioners are encouraged to write prayers for their climate leader and sign action cards to the government.
The young climate leaders
Delio is a 29 year old teacher at a university in the centre of the jungle in Peru, where it is common for people to hunt for fresh meat in the forest and fish in the rivers. Climate breakdown threatens their very way of life.
Delio encourages his students to become leaders themselves, learning to nurture and protect their natural environment and educating others about the harm that’s being done. Delio is partnered with the dioceses of Birmingham, Cardiff, Clifton, Menevia, Northampton, and Plymouth. Read Delio's story
Richard Apeh, 33, is a Lay Missionary for the International Young Catholic Students, a Catholic action movement present in 86 countries around the world. He is from Nigeria, which is getting hotter and its rainfall more unpredictable.
Richard experienced the effects of climate change first-hand; he witnessed lives being lost and homes being destroyed because of flooding. He organises workshops about environmental protection in schools and parishes, including a lot of tree-planting. Richard is partnered with the dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster. Read Richard's story
The Eco-Brigades are a group of children from four schools in Lima, Peru. Meeting each week in their schools, they learn about biodiversity and why it is such a critical issue in their part of Lima: a chain of mountains called the Lomas which are known as Lima’s “green lung”. The Lomas are a fragile eco-system at risk from land traffickers and mining companies.
The children are learning how to protect the land by planting small trees themselves, and by creating gardens in unused spaces in their schools. The Eco-Brigades project is partnered with the dioceses of Hexham and Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Hallam and Nottingham. Read the story of the eco-brigades
Mary Moeono Kolio, 28, is the voluntary coordinator for the Wellington, New Zealand branch of the Pacific Climate Warriors. Communities in the Pacific Islands are on the frontline of climate change. Many are being forced to adapt to ever-changing and dangerous weather conditions or flee their lands.
Young activists like Mary are on the frontline of the struggle, organising their communities to protest, demonstrate and call for change. They encourage young people to see themselves as climate leaders. Mary is partnered with the dioceses of Lancaster, Liverpool, Salford, Shrewsbury and Wrexham. Read Mary's story
The Atrato River Guardians
The Atrato river flows through Colombia’s Pacific rainforest, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The river is a source of life for many indigenous communities, but has suffered the effects of illegal mining, logging and armed conflict.
In 2017, the Constitutional Court recognised legal rights to the river in a landmark case, ordering the government to protect it, and establishing ‘Guardians of the River’, including groups of Young Guardians. They help to clean the river as well as raising awareness about its protection. The Atrato River Guardians are partnered with the dioceses of Portsmouth, Arundel and Brighton and East Anglia. Read the story of the River Guardians