Angela Wood brings us up to date on CAFOD’s recent work on HEATING OUR COMMON HOME.

  The sun shone warmly as CAFOD supporters, along with members of Christian Aid and Sheffield Wildlife Trust, met with Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley to discuss the actions needed to urgently address the problems of Climate Change.

  This hard-working MP was knowledgeable about the issues and shared links and advice to help with campaigning at local, national and international levels, as well as committing to keep  raising the issues herself, whenever possible amidst Brexit.

  We talked about the fact that aid money should not be used to support fossil fuel projects.  Instead of lifting people out of poverty, this aid money is burdening poorer nations with outdated technology which will only make the climate crisis worse.  Instead, it should go towards local renewable energy projects that we know benefit the poorest communities.  You may like to tweet or write via MPs to Mr Alok Sharma, the Minister for the Department for International Development with these concerns.  Louise also spoke of the need to safeguard the 0.7% GDP that funds the Overseas Aid budget and ensure this is not subverted for the UK’s self-interests.  Members of Parliament need letters from us to show them that we care about these issues! If you are interested in writing to your MP about this and other issues, please consider becoming an MP Correspondent with CAFOD.

  We also need to make changes in our own lives to better care for creation.  Despite the UK’s commitment to the Paris Agreement targets to minimise temperature rises to 1.5À°C, if some private companies continue unchanged, they alone could exceed the agreed levels of carbon emissions.  80% of fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if climate targets are to be met.

As a group we discussed what Pension Fund managers are doing about this. Current investment returns rely on the expectations that these reserves will be tapped, and the oil/gas sold. How will investors be compensated if this becomes legally impossible?  What are their plans to move to growth assets in low carbon infrastructure?  Following our meeting we have decided to write to our pension fund managers to query investments held in companies promoting fossil fuels.

  Closer to home we are going to look at how we source and use our own domestic energy.  We were pleased to see that recently the Bishops have signed a contract to supply renewable energy to over 4000 UK Catholic churches and schools.

  Join in responding to Pope Francis’ call to Care for Creation by making changes in your home too by switching your energy supplier to a green energy provider – as well as remembering to switch things off when not needed!

  If you’ve not done so already, have a Creation Celebration Mass in your parish.  There are plenty of resources to help at www.cafod.org.uk.  Share food, ideas, films and fun to encourage each other to take more steps forward together to care for our common home.