Young people from Hallam Diocese challenge world leaders and newly elected MPs on climate change
As world leaders met at the UN climate summit in Madrid, fifty young people gathered in Sheffield on 9 December, and urged them, ‘Don’t let climate change threaten our future’. It’s a message they want the new clutch of MPs to hear loud and clear.
The ‘Care for Creation Day’ was organised by Anna and Eleanor Marshall (aged 16 and 14 respectively) from Chesterfield. It was supported by St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield, Notre Dame Catholic High School, Sheffield, All Saints Catholic High School, Sheffield, The McAuley Catholic High School, Doncaster, St Pius X Catholic High School, Wath-upon-Dearne, St Bernard’s Catholic High School, Rotherham, Holy Trinity Catholic and Church of England School, Barnsley in the Diocese of Hallam, and attended by Bishop Ralph. The conference gave 11 – 14 year olds a rare opportunity to speak for themselves about the crisis facing them – and, as one young person put it, to ‘rewrite the future’.
The students found solidarity with others experiencing flooding and extreme weather. In a live videolink, Joana in the Philippines gave a sobering account of how she survived Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 but lost her closest relatives as a storm surge swept inland. The young people in Sheffield joined with Joana and her fellow survivors in pleading with those in power to force cuts in global emissions, over 70 percent of which can be traced to just 100 corporations.
Summing up the views expressed by all the young people taking part, Anna and Eleanor said, “Climate change threatens our future – and yet politicians and leaders are just watching it happening. It’s ruining our beautiful Earth, and not just for us – several of our young people today said they want their children to enjoy good lives too. We are saying to our new MPs, it’s now or never. The clock is still ticking, you can be sure that we’re not going to let this matter drop.”