01 October 2021, The Tablet

Catholic school pupils call on Prime Minister to face up to climate crisis

Catholic school pupils call on Prime Minister to face up to climate crisis

Pupils from Catholic schools have delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street urging the Prime Minister to commit to tackling climate change.

The petition comes ahead of the COP26 climate change conference which will  take place this November in Glasgow and bring together world leaders and be attended by between 20,000 and 25,000 people.

Pupils from St Ignatius College in Enfield, Ursuline High School in Wimbledon and Wimbledon College in Wimbledon delivered the “Be Bold” petition, which was created by Jesuit Missions, calling on the Prime Minister to show leadership and work to stop the annual global temperature rising above 1.5 centigrades.

Director of Jesuit Missions, Paul Chitnis, said: “Global warming affects everyone, especially the poorest communities in the world. The worlds’ leaders must show bold leadership at COP26 and meet the commitments they have repeatedly made.”

He added: “Failure to do so will be measured in the lives and livelihoods of people who have the least to cause global warming but have the most to lose” thereby highlighting the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest communities.

The petition calls on the Prime Minister to accept three key aims, including a commitment to providing low income countries with $100 billion a year in climate finance.

It also asks the Prime Minister to stop funding the fossil fuel industry and to call on world leaders to collectively contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions. 

Father Damian Howard SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, led a prayer service for the pupils ahead of their visit to Number 10. 

He said: “The Jesuits in Britain recognise climate change as one of the most important global issues to address. That is why we committed to divesting from fossil fuels two years ago, but we recognise more action is needed.”

The Sixth IPCC report on climate change, produced by scientists with the support of the UN,  came out on August 9 and was described as a “code red” for humanity. It is expected that the report will drive discussions at the upcoming conference.


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