The climate crisis is already a matter of life and death for people in the communities CAFOD works with, despite the fact they have contributed the least to the problem. Droughts, floods, failed harvests and damage to our common home is destroying people’s lives and livelihoods and pushing more people into poverty. The public is united that they want to see action on climate change, and they want these climate talks to deliver; Catholics across England and Wales have heeded Pope Francis’ message on caring for our common home and been making changes in their own lifestyles while calling for political action on climate change. As president of COP26 and host of this year’s summit the UK government must ensure these climate talks keep us on track to limit temperature rises to 1.5C, guarantee poor countries get the money they need to respond to the climate crisis and consign fossil fuels to history once and for all.
A successful COP26 must:
1. ‘Keep 1.5 alive’ – countries need to come with ambitious plans to limit global temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees. All major economies must commit to more ambitious climate plans by 2030, including decarbonising their transport, energy and agriculture sectors, based on principles of climate justice and equity.
2. Deliver the money promised to tackle the climate crisis. Richer countries must mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance every year until 2025 with a focus on helping low-income countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. COP26 should establish how this finance will increase in the future. Climate finance must take the form of grants, not loans, to avoid deepening the debt crisis facing lower-income countries.
3. Consign fossil fuels to history once and for all. G20 countries – as the world’s major emitters – need to collectively commit to consigning fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - to history. The UK must close existing loopholes that allow fossil fuel development at home or overseas and rule out further domestic fossil fuel development.
Let’s pray for a successful COP26 that keeps the needs of the world’s most marginalised people at its heart. Click here to visit CAFOD's website and find out more.
There are a range of achievable steps people across our community of faith can undertake to protect and preserve our common home, the Earth. The Journeyto2030 website includes just some of these, with a range of ideas to enhance green spaces and help reduce the carbon footprint of our parishes, schools, and homes.
A number of parishes and (to date) one school, St Dunstan's Catholic Primary School, have been awarded CAFOD Livesimply status, enabling them to strengthen the bonds of their community while caring for God's gift of creation. The CAFOD website includes a range of ideas for protecting our shared environment, including having one meat free day a week, composting kitchen waste, and limiting the use of plastic bags when out shopping. You can find out more by visiting the CAFOD website here.
Join us live from Glasgow to hear from Neil Thorns, CAFOD's Head of Advocacy, Communications & Education on the progress made at COP26. Neil will report on whether the needs of communities suffering the worst effects of climate change are being addressed. Click here to register.