Parishioners at St Teresa (Princes Risborough) were keen to learn more and Speak Up on climate change and renewable energy to their newly elected MP John Bercow. Unfortunately, he was unable to join the event on 4 July owing to other commitments that day. But the group were reassured that he regularly raises these matters with Government Ministers on behalf of his constituents and will continue to do so.
The session kicked off with an enjoyable cuppa and cake provided by the CAFOD group. We then heard from Ged Nolan (Campaigns volunteer coordinator for the diocese) about the campaign Power to be and what the week of action was about.
The group were shocked to hear that 1 in 6 people in the world have no access to electricity with 3 billion lacking clean and safe energy for household cooking. To learn that only 3% of the World Bank energy spending goes towards local, renewable energy and clean cooking was very alarming!
We heard what a huge difference safe, reliable, renewable, affordable and accessible energy (eg solar panels) is already making to the lives of those living in poverty by improving education, health, farming and business.
There was a great buzz in the room with people sharing their thoughts and wanting to see change. Veronica said, “We want to see the World bank spending more of their energy budget helping those in poverty via renewable energy and not fossil fuels. I shall be adding my voice to the campaign”.
After the closing prayer, we added our messages to the display with people keen to share their thoughts and wishes.
Marie Pennell (Parish contact) will be getting in touch with John Bercow to let him know the outcomes of the event to ensure that the concerns of the world’s poorest are one of the first things on his agenda. She added, “It was a very insightful session and all are now more aware of the plight of our brothers and sisters living in poverty without electricity. We will be calling on Melanie Robinson (UK Executive director at the World Bank) to use her influence to ensure the Bank invests in renewable energy for poor communities”.
The parish will take part in the card signing over the next few weeks.
Thanks to the CAFOD group at St Teresa for organising the event and for all who attended it. A special thanks to Ged for giving the presentation.