In August, parishioners from Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles and Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Llanelli and Holyrood and St Teilo in Tenby have been adding their support to CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign which is raising awareness of the power of the sun when it is harnessed as a renewable energy source – producing electricity in developing countries.
Parishioners signed campaign cards after Mass in both parishes. Many thanks to Fr Mansel Usher, Fr James Sweeney and Fr Hart (standing in for Fr Michael Fewell) for their support in getting this important message out to a wider audience.
Sadly, one in six people around the world don’t have access to electricity. They don’t have the energy needed to power schools, homes, health centres or businesses.
This has a major impact on childrens’ education. How can any child achieve their dreams without the light needed to do homework, pass exams or learn vital skills?
The UK does spend money on energy access for the world’s poorest communities. This is mainly through the World Bank. The World Bank’s mission is to end poverty around the world. The Bank is jointly owned by 189 country governments – something I wasn’t aware of.
But the UK is what is known as a shareholder country which gives us a much stronger voice than many other countries because it is one of only five countries which appoints is own executive director to the Board of the World Bank and so has a greater say in decision making.
The Power to Be campaign makes a simple ask: and that is to lobby our UK’s representative, Melanie Robinson, to increase the amount of money that is invested in local renewable energy.
And that’s because currently only a tiny proportion of the money that they do spend – less than 3% – is spent on renewables.
However these renewable technologies are often ideal in rural areas and are significantly better from an environmental point of view.
So it’s all about the power of the sun. Sunlight is one thing that developing countries have in abundance.
Costs have fallen and the technology for solar thermal power (sunlight used to heat air or water) and photovoltaic power (electricity generated directly from sunlight) has improved greatly.
However, many children still rely on unpredictable, dangerous and unhealthy energy sources such as candles paraffin lamps and firewood. Access to renewable energy could and would transform their lives.
Safe, reliable, affordable and renewable energy is a major factor in more children living to their fifth birthday.
More children finishing primary school.
Increased literacy of 15-24 year olds.
There are many ways to get involved: You can sign the petition online.
You can sign one of the Power to Be campaign cards and return them to CAFOD (freepost).
Why not organise a campaign signing event in your parish or school – all you need to know can be found here.
Find out more and share the campaign with people you know: http://cafod.org.uk/powertobe
Download the Power to Be liturgy resources here.
I have come so that they may have life
and have it to the full.