Power to be: You made a difference

18 May 2018

Never underestimate the power of your name.

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.

Together we refused to accept that one-in-six people across the world live without access to electricity, or access to vital services such as schools and health clinics. And your voices have been heard! You can make your voice go even further by becoming an MP correspondent.

Make your voice go further: campaign with us

How Power to be made a difference

Thanks to you, major stake holders and key people at the World Bank heard our voices and spoke out on renewable energy and its impact for the world's poorest people.

The UK's representative at the World Bank, Melanie Robinson said: “Without reliable access to electricity, entrepreneurs find it harder to set up small businesses and create jobs. Electricity is also crucial for communities, to provide light for children to study at night and to refrigerate vaccines in health facilities.

It’s great to see so many people in England and Wales supporting efforts to bring power to people without access to electricity and I was pleased to understand more about CAFOD’s Power to be campaign.

Making sure everyone has access to electricity is essential for helping the world’s poorest communities to develop and I look forward to continuing to discuss the importance of this with colleagues at the World Bank”

Former Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, stressed the strong influence the UK government has as a major shareholder at the World Bank. She also emphasised the importance of speaking up for energy spending that benefits the world’s poorest.

"I have seen the difference that renewable energy makes to young people. They are able to support their families, and not only that, they are able to look after the environment better."

Sister Clara from Zambia

Prime Minister Theresa May recognised recently that: “Clean energy is already an easier, cheaper and safer option than coal in many of the poorest countries. By adopting 21st-century methods such as solar and wind power and energy storage, developing economies can today leapfrog the dirty technologies of the past.”

The World Bank announced in December that they will no longer finance oil and gas exploration and production after 2019. This is a big step forward and shows that the World Bank is prepared to transform its energy spending.

Make the power of your voice go further

The world's most vulnerable people continue to experience a lack of energy access. “When health facilities don’t have power, they can’t pump water for patients or use life-saving equipment,” said Sr Mathilde from Zambia. “Women can go into labour at any time. So at night, light is needed for delivery. Can you imagine delivering a child using a candle at night? Emergencies cannot be attended to if there is no power. This can cost lives.”

Read about how a lack of electricity affects everything

You still have an opportunity to make sure these concerns of the world's poorest are on your MP's agenda by becoming an MP correspondent. MP Correspondents are essential to our work. As an MP Correspondent you will write three to four times a year to your MP to call for action on issues affecting disadvantaged and marginalised communities around the world.

Power to be: What you can do next

1 – Find two more people to sign our Power to be petition  urging the World Bank to shift the balance to support renewable energy

2 - Ensure that the voices of many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are heard in the corridors of power.

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