This is a climate emergency

Mark Chamberlain, CAFOD Communications Officer, describes how people’s lives are changing around the world because of climate change.

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“Our needs back home are being considered”

Allie Phillip leads Caritas St Lucia’s ‘Youth Emergency Action Committees’ (YEACs), which help vulnerable communities be their own first responders when disasters strike.

St Lucia is in the ‘hurricane belt’ of the Caribbean. The YEACs are run by young people who train other community members to be prepared for, mitigate, and manage responses to extreme weather.

Allie also coordinates the Church’s regional emergency response and the network of YEACs in the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma in 2017 was a particularly bad hurricane, killing people and destroying communities in 14 countries.

Here, Allie offers Sam from our campaigns team her reflections on her current work, climate change and young people.

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Be a Zero Hero and be part of the solution

We asked Step into the Gap volunteer Kezia Harow to share her experience on campaigning for net zero with young people and how others can get involved.

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Why is Valentine’s Day the perfect day to talk about climate change?

Our friends at The Climate Coalition discuss love and climate change for Valentine’s Day. CAFOD joins the Show the Love campaign every Valentine’s Day to start conversations about how the things we love are affected by climate change

As we approach February the 14th, The Climate Coalition’s annual Show The Love weeks, now is the perfect time to ask ourselves: What does it mean to love?

Share green hearts on Valentine’s Day

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Five ways to start a conversation about climate change

Sarah Croft works in CAFOD’s campaigns team. This week, she’s challenged herself to talk to five new people about climate change. Why?

Last week I was shocked to learn that women my age are the group least likely to talk about climate change, even though they are the most concerned about the issue.

We are not alone in our reluctance to talk. Two out of three people have never had a conversation about climate change – ever.

CAFOD campaigns on climate change, so I am unusual in that I spend most of my working day thinking and talking about it to colleagues.

But despite this, when I leave the office and head out to have drinks with friends or to see family, I rarely bring the topic up.

Find resources to help you start conversations about climate change this Valentine’s Day

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How to enjoy the summer without damaging the planet

Climate champion Beth has been thinking of ways to enjoy the summer without damaging the world we live in. Here are her top tips.

With everyone enjoying the summer months it is easy to forget the small things that we are doing to cause damage to the planet. Whether you are out with friends, at a festival or jetting off somewhere far away, there are ways to enjoy the summer months and reduce your carbon footprint. You can enjoy the summer season and help save the planet one small step at a time.

These tips should help you make the most of summer but also advise you to enjoy the season with simple hacks that can make this world an even better place.

Got a tip of you own? Tell us on twitter

Top tips for an Eco friendly summer

1. Reduce plastic waste

plastic water bottle
Reduce your plastic by not buying bottled water and using your own reusable bottle

With Britain experiencing its hottest summer for years, everyone is heading to the nearest park or beach for a picnic. Why not reduce the amount of plastic you waste, whilst enjoying yourselves? Try packing reusable cutlery and plates or even use reusable containers to pack your food in instead of disposable ones. Instead of constantly buying a bottle of water, be more prepared and bring your own reusable bottle. Many areas have water fountains to refill at, and cafes and restaurants will happily refill your bottle with tap water if you ask.

2. Walk or Cycle 

Think about your mode of transport! Although it is hard to stay “green” when you’re going on holiday aboard, it can still be done. Instead of jumping on the local bus or grabbing a taxi, a great way to experience your new surrounds and help reduce carbon emissions is by walking or hiring a bike. You may even explore areas you never thought of by traveling this way. It is another way to truly appreciate our own natural surroundings and all the real beauty the world has to offer!

Serious about stopping climate change? Join our delegation to the UN climate summit in 2018

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How is Laudato Si’ changing the way we work at CAFOD?

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ has inspired and challenged CAFOD in the way we work. Susy Brouard, from CAFOD’s theology team, and Gisele Henriques, from our international programmes team, reflect on how.

In June 2015 Pope Francis issued the encyclical Laudato Si’. The sub-title was “on care for our common home”. The letter was addressed not just to Catholics, and not just to people of faith. It was addressed  to every citizen on the planet.

Pope Francis recognises that we have a common problem – environmental and social degradation. This problem will require a common solution so everyone is invited to be involved! As the Pope stated: “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” (# 14)

Reflect on and respond to Laudato Si’ with our prayer resources

CAFOD’s reflection on Laudato Si’

Susy Brouard holding a copy of the Laudato Si
Susy Brouard holding a copy of Laudato Si’

As a Catholic development agency CAFOD took the Pope’s invitation to dialogue very seriously. We felt we were in a good position to contribute constructively to the conversation. At the same time, we also saw that Laudato Si’ contained within it many challenges about the way we live and work. This included our approach to international development. We realised that we might be required to change some of the ways we think and work.

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Warriors against Climate Change

Eighteen CAFOD supporters gathered in Belgium last month at a sustainability camp. They joined other Catholic sister agencies for a one week camp. They got together to reflect on topics related to climate change, ecological living, Laudato Si’, activism and sustainability. Bridgid Duffy, a CAFOD Climate Champion, shares with us her experience.  

After a long, hot day of carrying several tents from the UK to Belgium, we reached our destination – Wereldkamp 2018.  We were all invited by CIDSE. CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies working together for global justice. The smiling faces of the CIDSE volunteers were the first people to greet us. As soon as we caught sight of the camp, there was an undeniable sense of community. Children were playing football on the dusty ground under the hazy sunshine. The adults were preparing dinner on the peripheries of the magical forest.  In that moment I realized that everyone was there for one common goal: to learn what our role is in creating a more sustainable world. My heart began to race. I knew it was the beginning of a powerful and inspirational week.

Get inspired and become a CAFOD campaigner

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Renewable energy changes lives in Zambia

Sister Clara is a nun from Zambia. She shares with us how climate change is becoming the main cause of poverty and how renewable energy and your support can make a difference.

Zambia has in recent years experienced extreme shifts in weather patterns. These shifts are resulting in profoundly negative impacts on the economy.

The poorest people living in rural areas, like Mbala in Northern Zambia, are most affected because almost everyone is dependent on farming as their main source of living. In addition, most people do not have access to electricity either because it is too expensive or because the country cannot afford a national grid. So the people of Mbala, and other such villages, are often left without this, the most basic of necessities.

Therefore, as a religious congregation working in Mbala, we have been helping the poorest people. We have been supporting them both materially and financially through the Households in Distress Project (H.I.D).

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Climate champions share their experience of global climate conference

CAFOD climate champions, John Paul and Eleanor Margetts, share their experience of attending COY13, the 13th Youth Conference that runs alongside the annual climate conference COP23. 

Hello! Our names are John Paul, Edward and Eleanor and we have just finished taking part in COY13, the Conference of Youth that took place in Bonn, Germany, ahead of the COP23 Conference – the conference of parties which meets annually to discuss climate change.

The COY13 conference aims to mobilise people into taking action for climate change, particularly in the context of implementing the Paris Agreement as a result of COP21.

Learn more about CAFOD volunteering opportunities

We formed part of the youth delegation, a gathering of around 1,000 young people from all over the world, coming together to learn and to share ideas on making positive changes for the good of the environment and for climate justice.

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