Press Release
CAFOD responds to IPCC report as Kenyan community warns “climate change is real for us”

CAFOD is urging Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to take radical action to fight climate change both at home and abroad and keep “1.5 alive” in the face of this latest devastating research from the IPCC. Ahead of today's launch of the AR6 WG2 report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

The report shows the urgent need to support those communities whose lives are already devastated due to climate change, and rich countries need to make good their commitments at COP26 to double the money going to climate adaptation, taking action to prepare for and adjust to both the current effects of climate change the predicted impacts in the future laid out in this report. 

Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy, CAFOD said: 

“How many crystal-clear red alerts on the climate crisis do we need before we take the urgent and meaningful action? Keeping warming below 1.5 degrees is the only way to avoid the huge destruction that failing this entails, especially for those living on the breadline across the world. We are also sadly seeing communities in East Africa and small island states where that destruction has gone beyond the ability to adapt, and they now urgently need funds to compensate for the destruction caused by a climate crisis they did not create. 

“Now is the time to be increasing our commitments to net zero. Money to fight the climate crisis cannot be a bargaining chip to be played fast and loose with, this is about the survival of all of us and the planet we love.  

But all hope is not lost, CAFOD has seen firsthand from the local experts it funds in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Brazil that there are solutions out there to fight this crisis. 

By supporting and investing in projects like the restoration of coastal and land ecosystems such as mangroves and tropical forests we can begin to adapt environments to the new reality we face.  

These projects need to be supported and massively scaled up if we are to have any hope of saving our common home from the potential devastation this report lays out. In the lead up to COP27, it is vital that Loss and Damage and Adaptation are top of the agenda – it's now or never for planet Earth. 

Bishop of Marsabit, Kenya, Peter Kihara Kariuki, said: 

“Today, communities in Marsabit are facing severe drought. They find themselves trekking 17 kilometers to the nearest water source. Suffering from the impacts of climate change, they are now dependent on aid from the church, the government, and NGOs for the basics of life: to be able to eat and drink clean water. We must raise our voices and call for ambitious action from world leaders to bring about climate justice by enacting the strongest measures to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees or below, commit to binding agreements to cut global carbon emissions, and increase support to communities like mine in Marsabit to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis. 

“Climate change is real for us in Marsabit. As churches, as communities, we must make sure that our voices are heard. We have a saying in Swahili: “Kuja pamoja ni mwanzo, kukuwa pamoja ni maendeleo; kufanya kazi pamoja ni mafanikio” — which translates as “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”.

ENDS//  

Notes to Editor          

  • For further information, or to book spokespeople for broadcast interviews please contact:  Frances Leach at fleach@cafod.org.uk or, CAFOD’s 24-hour media hotline on +44 (0)7919 301 429      
  • CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. We reach out to people living in poverty with practical help, whatever their religion or culture. Help us build a world where no one is beyond reach of the love and care they need. 

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