Supporters from East Anglia were joined by at least 9,000 people, including CAFOD supporters from every diocese, and MPs at the Climate Coalition Rally to talk about climate change and the devastating impact it’s having on people living in poverty overseas.
In what was the biggest ever climate lobby of Parliament, almost half of all MPs were asked to tackle climate change and deliver 100 per cent clean, safe energy.
Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, responded to the strong call for action on climate change by stressing the need to act internationally and at home. “The people who are really suffering are those in the poorest countries. We have to address this with climate finance,” she said at an evening event following the Speak Up lobby.
“This is a national issue not a party issue. All MPs have to engage in this issue. The new climate economy and low carbon economy means there is fantastic opportunity to lead. Which country will lead and drive to create green energy? I think this will be the UK.”
“I was inspired to join today’s lobby because it’s part of a bigger story. I’m partway through a pilgrimage which I have been doing for three years. I’ve raised lots of money. This year, I want to concentrate on prayer and campaigning.
“I’ve come to the lobby on behalf of Diss parish. I heard Michel from CAFOD talking about how climate change is affecting so many people where he works in Niger. I don’t want to be part of a community that turns its back on people. I want to be part of the solution.
“I want to encourage my MP to push for David Cameron to be ambitious at Paris.
“The Pope’s Encyclical will be a challenging document. That’s brilliant – that’s what we need at this time. A lot of people think Pope Francis is great and he has captured the world’s imagination. I hope and pray that what he says will have influence and keep momentum going.”
“I went along because I feel anxious about the poor of the world who are suffering the worst effects of climate change. My MP Henry Bellingham saw this first hand when he was Minister for Africa and made about 60 visits to African countries. I also feel that the control of climate change is a project that will bring all the countries of the world together and I think that is what God wants. God, rather than money, therefore could become the motivation for our work to control carbon emissions and help to bring different religions together.
“I thought that the day was well organised and it reminded me to review my understanding of climate change. There is lots about it on the government’s websites and I feel sure they are working hard on it but I think it is one of those problems which drifts into the background of life if we’re not careful. The government needs to continue to change the rules to guide people into a new low carbon culture that we can all be part of. Electricity generation is still about 75% fossil fuel dependent.”
Whether or not you were able to join us to lobby your MP, you can make sure they follow up their commitments. Become a CAFOD MP Correspondent and we’ll send you briefings and information to help you write to your MP three times a year about climate change and poverty. Sign up to be a CAFOD MP Correspondent.
Sign our petition and call on our Prime Minister David Cameron to show leadership in tackling climate change in the UK and internationally.