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Thousands of Catholics urge Rishi Sunak to show climate leadership ahead of COP26

29 September 2021

Wednesday 22 September

Campaigners have called on the Chancellor to prevent communities who’ve done the least to cause the climate crisis from paying the biggest cost.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in the United States ahead of the UN General Assembly, representatives from the UK aid agency CAFOD handed in a petition signed by thousands of CAFOD supporters to HM Treasury in Westminster on Tuesday 21st September.

Over 2,000 people wrote to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to finance the UK’s pledge to cut emissions to net zero and to work with other governments on promises to support countries hardest hit by the crisis.

“With COP26 only weeks away, the Chancellor must provide the money needed for the UK to slash its own emissions and persuade other countries to make good on their promises to support people facing the worst impacts of the climate emergency,” said Liam Finn, Campaigns Manager at CAFOD.

“COP26 isn’t going to provide a magic wand to end the climate crisis, but it’s a crucial moment for governments to show how they will keep temperature rises below the catastrophic 1.5-degree level and finally meet their financial commitments to countries being hardest hit by the crisis.”

“The UK government, as COP hosts, has a special responsibility to make those promises a reality – but the Chancellor hasn’t yet delivered on that.”

The call has come with fewer than 50 days left until the UK hosts the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.

Campaigners and diplomats from around the world have raised concerns that the UK government is not doing enough to persuade other countries to come to Glasgow with more ambitious commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or to push for other rich countries support communities already feeling the effects of climate change.

They have also asked the Chancellor to work with other finance ministers from the G20 group of rich countries to provide at least $100 billion each year in ‘climate finance’ to poorer countries which are being hit hardest by the climate crisis.

Liam Finn said:

“Pope Francis has called the fight against the climate crisis ‘the greatest leadership opportunity of all’, but it’s one that the Chancellor has yet to show he’s willing to rise to.

“It’s now up to the Chancellor to show whether he’s going to play his part at this crucial moment or whether he will duck responsibility and fail to deliver in the run-up to the COP.”

CAFOD is also asking people to write to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to put people hardest hit at the heart of COP26 climate talks.