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Header - Climate and environment Policy

CAFOD's policy and research papers on climate and the environment.

Communities all over the planet are already experiencing the effects of climate change, from unpredictable and changing weather patterns to extreme weather events. These changes are pushing individuals over the poverty line, destroying ecosystems and livelihoods, forcing migration, and threatening the survival of families and communities.

Those who contributed the least to the problem have been hit the hardest.

Key areas of work

Specifically, CAFOD is calling for:

  • ambitious action to keep warming below 1.5°C, including fully funded policies to ensure the UK is on track for net carbon zero and diplomatic action as COP 26 President to ensure other countries deliver on their climate promises

  • support for the poorest and most climate-vulnerable communities, ensuring that the $100 billion/year climate finance goal for low-income countries is delivered in the forms of grants, not loans

  • an end all support of fossil fuels, at home and overseas, including gas.

Current predictions place the planet on a pathway to around 4°C of warming by the end of the century - well over the 1.5°C limit that the world needs to keep within to prevent climate and planetary catastrophe.

The simple cause of climate change is the historic and current emission of greenhouse gases, primarily from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. This is exacerbated by contributions from sectors such as agriculture, which is a key driver in deforestation and land use change. 

We must end carbon emissions from fossil fuels and other sectors, and countries in the global north must lead the way. Wealthy countries must also support communities to respond to the effects of climate change, through financial and technical support, and face up to our historic responsibilities as the main polluters.

Key documents


Beyond coal: Scaling up clean energy to fight global poverty

Eradicating global poverty is within reach, but under threat from a changing climate. Left unchecked, climate change will put at risk our ability to lift people out of extreme poverty permanently by 2030, the first target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


UK support for energy overseas 2010-18

Burning polluting fossil fuels is the main cause of the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, which is hitting the poorest communities hardest. Phasing out investment in fossil fuels and scaling up support for renewable and efficient energy systems to reach 100 per cent by 2050 will be critical for remaining under 1.5°C of global warming.


CDC's support for energy overseas

Our latest research shows that CDC is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in fossil fuels overseas, undermining its new Climate Change Strategy and the UK’s international leadership on tackling climate change.

Climate crisis news


"The earth is crying out to us and needs us"

Poverty and the threat of violence cast a shadow over childhood in Colombia but one woman is training young people to advocate for their communities, work for peace and safeguard the Amazon.

Policy and research

CAFOD's policy team provides briefings, reports and research on our advocacy and lobbying work, plus materials to support our campaigns.