On June 17th we, and many supporters from across Wales, headed to Westminster to lobby our MPs on Climate Change. For many of us it was our first opportunity since the General Election to speak to our local MPs on Climate Change leading up to the Paris Conference of Parties (COP) where leaders from around the world will gather to discuss climate change policy.
The lobby also happened the same week that Pope Francis released an Encyclical – a letter to people worldwide – calling on everyone to take better care of the environment and the planet. The Encyclical, called Laudato Si’ – On the care of our common home, states that action by everyone is necessary in order to prevent environmental damage, such as climate change, impacting upon the poorest and most vulnerable people. Therefore, we have been adding our voice to the Pope’s call to protect the environment and tackle climate change.
The lobby came after people in every constituency across the region wrote to candidates standing for Parliament in the general election asking them to make the changing climate a priority.
We joined 9,000 campaigners from across Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, at the event – the largest lobby of Parliament on climate change in history.
Many parishes from across Wales responded to the Pope’s call and we would like to thank groups such as St Joseph’s Parish, Penarth and St Mary’s Parish, Dinas Powys for adding their voice.
Stella Westmacott from Cwdweli, a former solicitor who moved away from city life to live a life with little impact on the environment, was one of the 9,000 that called on politicians to push for a global agreement on tackling the changing climate and to support the move towards clean and sustainable energy for everyone.
“I made a radical lifestyle change and now own a small holding growing my own fruit and vegetables. I moved to Carmarthenshire about two years ago having taken early retirement. I was a lawyer when I was working. I’m striving to live more sustainably and I’ve made changes in my lifestyle like trying to use renewable energy and I bought an electric car. So I do my very best to try and live a sustainable lifestyle.
“The wonder of Creation, the web of life and peace throughout the world are being threatened by the impact of climate change. The climate lobby provides a great opportunity to tell those that represent us in Government that tackling climate change must be of the highest priority of our new Government.
As a Christian I am called to love God, his creation and my neighbour. To be a true witness to this I feel impelled to take action personally and politically to tackle climate change. This has motivated a significant change of lifestyle. The issue seems a daunting task but if everyone plays their part I believe we can have a peaceful and more sustainable world. I want to be a part of the solution.”
Click here to read about our summer intern’s experience of the day!