One Climate, One World: Power to the People

11 April 2016

Clean water, nutritious food, decent healthcare and good education - we all know these are essential in helping people to escape poverty and live with dignity. But what about access to electricity?

Access to affordable, safe and reliable electricity can be life-changing for poor communities. Electric pumps can purify water for drinking and irrigate land to grow food and enable people to earn a living. Schools and clinics need heating and lighting; they need to refrigerate vaccines and cook food.

Yet one in five people around the world still don’t have access to the electricity they need and are being left behind. 

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Support for renewable energy to tackle poverty

That’s why, this year, the One Climate, One World campaign is focusing on the need to bring power to the people, by supporting renewable energy which helps communities escape poverty.

Renewable sources of energy – solar, wind and wave power – are the most affordable way to reach the poorest people with electricity, as most often they live in rural areas where extending the energy grid is often too expensive, slow and politically challenging. They have the added benefit of not contributing to damaging climate change.

This is important, because we know that climate change hits the world’s poorest people the hardest. In 2015, governments around the world committed to cutting the carbon emissions which cause climate change.

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Support renewable energy to tackle climate change

Worldwide there is minimal access to clean and renewable energy. There is an urgent need to de­velop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly pol­luting gases can be drastically reduced.

Pope Francis, Laudato Si' #26

Campaign manager Sarah Croft said, “A global shift to renewable energy is crucial for keeping global temperature rises under the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris. CAFOD supporters have already made a huge difference: you’ve marched, prayed, written letters, sent emails and turned up on your MPs’ doorsteps, calling for action on climate change.

“Your pressure has helped bring about a new global deal to tackle climate change, which sends a clear signal that the world needs to shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. Now, we need to make sure world leaders, including our own government, keep to their commitments to help poorer countries to tackle climate change and to develop their energy services in ways that do not lock them in to using outdated, polluting fossil fuels.

"We hope you’ll join us again as, this year, we campaign for renewable energy in homes, schools and businesses everywhere.”

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