Message from Sandra Barrett – CAFOD rep Holy Cross

I hope to organise a Zoom meeting for our parish Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament in Exeter with our MP Ben Bradshaw soon. Addressing issues about Climate Change COP26 and COVID19 with a global approach to vaccines and the way forward for these issues to be addressed.  I will keep you all posted as to when this will take place and post a link via the website and email. I hope you can join us.

CAFOD supporters will be joining millions of people across the world marching for climate justice on Saturday 6th November for the Global Day of Action for the Climate. As world leaders gather for the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, we want to make sure we raise our voice and let them know that urgent action is needed to keep global temperatures within 1.5 degrees of warming, and to ensure that sufficient support is provided for the countries and communities who have done the least to cause the current climate emergency.

Join us to hear a live briefing from inside COP26 with Neil Thorns, our Head of Advocacy, and a representative from the Vatican delegation. Neil will report on the progress made so far from the UN climate change conference and whether the needs of communities around the world suffering the worst effects of climate change are being addressed. Join in the webinar on Tuesday 9th November 7pm:

Webinar: Update live from Glasgow COP26 by CAFOD

What is the Go Green Challenge?

This autumn, leading up to the COP26 climate talks in November, we are asking you to ‘Go Green’ by taking on a climate-related fundraising challenge.

There are lots of things you could do - how about a cycling challenge, going vegetarian or plastic-free? Sign up, start collecting sponsors and raise money to help fight the climate crisis!

Together we can shine a light on some of the causes of the climate emergency while doing our bit to guard God's creation and protect our common home. 

Go Green and Give

COP26 - Campaign for the climate

The destruction of our land, oceans and forests is threatening people's homes and their ability to earn a living.

Governments from across the world gather in Glasgow in November to discuss how to tackle the climate emergency at COP26. It’s vital for the Catholic community to demand that our leaders act now to protect our common home.

Why is COP26 important?

COP26 will be a key moment for governments to show how they will keep global temperature rises below 1.5C, deliver money promised to countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis and to consign fossil fuels to history.

COP26 is also the first COP since the coronavirus pandemic began and comes at a time when governments are planning how to rebuild from the pandemic.

Pope Francis has warned that it would be "a scandal" if the money governments are spending to rebuild economies and save businesses in the aftermath of the pandemic "were to focus on rescuing those industries that do not contribute to the inclusion of the excluded, the promotion of the least, the common good or the care of creation".

Governments must commit to 'keep 1.5° alive'

Governments are obliged to set out more ambitious goals for ending their contribution to climate change under the Paris Agreement. A number of countries have begun to do so, including the UK.

Countries agreed to do this at COP21, the climate conference which took place in 2015 in Paris. Governments' climate commitments are known as ‘nationally-determined contributions’ or ‘NDCs’ and are pledges made by countries themselves on the size of the cuts in emissions they will make themselves. 

Countries pledged at the Paris climate talks to work to keep temperature rises below 1.5°C. If the world warms more than this threshold, millions more people in the most vulnerable communities around the globe will suffer from devastating droughts, storms, floods and other impacts of climate change.

Climate finance pledges must be met

Rich countries committed at COP15, the climate summit held in Copenhagen in 2009, to provide at least $100bn each year in financial support to the countries being hardest hit by the climate emergency.

This promise was supposed to have been met by 2020 but rich governments have yet to meet the $100bn pledge. 

Negotiators at COP26 must set out how the $100bn commitment is met and exceeded in future. 

Climate finance must also take the form of grants, rather than loans, to avoid worsening the debt crisis facing lower- and middle-income countries.

Leaders must consign fossil fuels to history once and for all

The G20 group of countries - who make up the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases - must collectively commit to consigning coal, oil and gas to history to keep temperature rises below 1.5°C.

This means that countries such as the UK must close existing loopholes which allow fossil fuel development at home or overseas and must also rule out further fossil fuel development. 

Who is COP26 president?

The COP presidency rotates between different regions. In 2021, the UK and Italy will jointly host the climate conference.

Alok Sharma, who was previously Business Secretary and International Development Secretary, will be the COP26 President. Mr Sharma took over as 'President Designate' from Claire O’Neill, a climate minister under Prime Minister Theresa May, who led the government’s work towards setting a net zero target in law.

The UK will take over the COP presidency from Chile, which was the official host of COP25, even though the conference itself was held in Madrid in Spain. The UK government has the opportunity to lead the way in pushing for other countries to set more ambitious climate goals.

What will happen at COP26 climate talks?

COP26 will be the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place on British soil. Many thousands of other people will also gather for the COP, both inside and outside the conference centre.

Inside the conference, delegates such as politicians, diplomats and campaigners will hold formal and informal discussions. Businesses and civil society organisations such as charities will also contribute as observers to the COP process and with meetings called ‘side-events’ which will take place around the COP premises.

Discussions at COP26 are likely to focus on whether the commitments made by countries to cut emissions will be enough to halt dangerous temperature rises and get the world on track to reaching ‘net zero’ as soon as possible. The UK government set a 2050 net zero target after calls from campaigners up and down the country, including thousands of CAFOD supporters.

Negotiators will also discuss plans to provide climate finance support to countries worst hit by the climate crisis and how to help countries adapt to climate change impacts.

Outside the conference, thousands of campaigners will put pressure on COP delegates to show the ambition needed to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions. Various events are planned, including large marches and demonstrations. More than 500,000 people were estimated to have joined a march in Madrid during COP25.


COP26 Prayer

Loving God, we praise your name with all you have created.

You are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of creatures.

We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us as stewards of your creation.

May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP26 as they seek to embrace the changes

needed to foster a more sustainable society.

Instil in them the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions for the poorest

and most vulnerable and commit their nations to the care of Our Common Home.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son.     Amen

Cancel the Debt

The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global health crisis in a century. Yet many countries are being forced to choose between spending money on healthcare or on continuing to pay their debts.

Unless urgent action is taken, countries will be plunged into a new debt crisis as they respond to the threat of the virus while managing spiralling debt payments.

Cancel debt >> Fund vaccines >> Save lives

Covid-19 could push up to 150 million people into extreme poverty. At the same time, many large banks and speculators – including Blackrock, JP Morgan, HSBC and UBS – continue to demand debt repayments from some of the poorest countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

That means these countries are left with less money to spend on tackling Covid, the climate crisis and essentials such as education and health. 

Right now, African countries are spending three times more on debt repayments to banks and speculators than it would cost to vaccinate the entire continent against Covid-19.

Other lenders, including rich countries, have already agreed to suspend debt payments due to the impacts of the pandemic. But most banks and speculators have continued to demand every penny.

Join us to demand big banks #CancelTheDebt.

Email the banks today

Cancel debt >> Fund vaccines >> Save lives | CAFOD