Burnley Christians urge action at COP26 to protect the earth

Burnley and Padiham Christians have been urging local MP Antony Higginbotham to press the Prime Minister to secure a just and binding global climate deal.

Ahead of COP26, the Good Samaritan Parish CAFOD Group tried to set up a meeting with MP Antony Higginbotham to discuss climate issues.

The in-person or online meeting would have involved pupil representatives from the parish’s primary schools and secondary school, teachers, CAFOD group members, other interested parishioners and Burnley constituents. Unfortunately, Mr Antony Higginbotham was unable to meet with them due to his busy schedule.

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Not giving up on getting their message heard the parish CAFOD group members decided to compose a letter to Mr Higginbotham, getting as many signatures as possible across the constituency, asking him to press the UK Government to act decisively in tackling the climate crisis and provide the world with leadership on environmental issues.

Anne Marie Coppock (Good Samaritan CAFOD Group Treasurer), Fr David Featherstone (parish priest of Good Samaritan Parish), Dominic Aunger (Good Samaritan CAFOD Group chairman) and Fr Damien Louden (assistant priest of Good Samaritan Parish).

There are 50 signatories to the letter including the Bishop of Burnley, the Right Rev. Philip North, parish priests – Reverends David Featherstone and Allan Swift, assistant priests, vicars, religious sisters, headteachers and parishioners. The letter set out three main asks:

A realistic, achievable plan to tackle climate change, in particular, to prevent exceeding the 1.5°C rise in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels.

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A binding commitment to take whatever actions are necessary to implement that plan.

That the plan and actions ensure that the most vulnerable and poorest nations in the world are protected from the worst effects of climate change, as it is those nations who have contributed least to global warming. This must include a properly funded, global climate mitigation fund to enable the countries worst hit by a rapidly warming Earth to adapt to the severe changes in their weather and transition quickly away from fossil fuels.

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Good Samaritan CAFOD Group member, Dominic Aunger said: “We are praying and hoping the UK offers leadership to other countries and sets an example for others to urgently act by slashing carbon emissions, stopping all funding of fossil fuel projects at home and abroad and providing adequate finance to the UN Climate Fund. These urgent actions will help protect our planet from the worst excesses of climate change and give the world’s children a sustainable and healthier future.”

Covering the majority of Burnley, the Good Samaritan Parish includes the churches of St Mary, St John the Baptist and Christ the King.

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Members of the Good Samaritan Parish CAFOD Group have been campaigning tirelessly for a just and binding climate deal at the crucial UN Climate Summit, COP26, in Glasgow. Over the last year, group members and parishioners have been signing online petitions to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, attending a virtual lobby of Parliament and writing letters of their own to their MP.

Dominic concluded: “World leaders at COP26 in Glasgow must act now, and make the radical decisions Pope Francis has called for to solve the climate crisis - in order to protect humanity and the planet.”

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To see the letter in full sent to Antony Higginbotham and those who signed, just follow the link:

CAFOD (goodsamaritanparish.org.uk)