Members of St Dunstan's parish, CAFOD volunteer Audra Schlachter, Father Simon Hall, and Jenny Finlayson, community coordinator for CAFOD, recently met with Jonathan Lord the Member of Parliament for Woking.
Following introductions, Audra presented a petition, signed by 707 parishioners to Jonathan, for submission to the Prime Minister, to call for net zero emissions by 2045, which if enforced will limit the worst effects of climate change on our health, homes and communities, and people living in poverty around the world. Specifically it asks that all government departments urgently bring forward policies to achieve net zero emissions, and go further and faster to achieve the target honestly, transparently and without caveats by 2045. It also asks that UK investment overseas and at home is kept consistent with keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees, including through stopping all new public support for fossil fuels overseas.
The petition also urges the government to show leadership by connecting the crises of poverty, environmental degradation and climate change, and called for concrete commitments to combat them at key international events.
Before handing the petition over, Audra said, 'We now ask that this petition is taken to the Prime Minister to reflect our concern for our common home, and to show that we as the catholic community of St Dunstan's realise the great responsibility we all have to make a positive change for our future as a global community'.
The petition was accepted by Mr Lord, who then spoke about some of the achievements of the past few years and the need for further action and progress over the next few years. 'While there is much to be done, the UK is doing really well in working towards reducing our carbon emissions, and investing in and moving towards renewable energy in particular. However, we realise there are many challenges ahead and I am very happy to present this petition to the Prime Minister, together with and on behalf of St Dunstan's Parish and CAFOD to raise your concerns and your desire for further and faster action by 2045.’