Monks and nuns to march on Parliament over 'carbon habit'

By Agencies
April 22, 2008

Hundreds of nuns, monks and clergy will be marching on Westminster to ask MPs to strengthen the Climate Change Bill and ‘kick the carbon habit’ for the sake of the poorest in the world.

The march takes place this Wednesday, 23 April.

Their core message will be that those in developing countries are the first to experience the devastating impacts of climate change – despite contributing to it the least.

Nearly 300 hundred members of religious orders are expected to attend the rally outside Parliament with placards and banners.

The event is being organised by CAFOD, Conference of Religious (CoR) and Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Links (JPIC).

Before marching on Westminster the delegation will hear speeches by Fr Sean McDonagh, a Columban missionary who has written extensively on ecology and religion and Fr Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth Abbey, the Benedictine Monastery near Crawley which was the focus of BBC TV series The Monastery.

The religious lobby will be calling on MPs to strengthen the Climate Change Bill by increasing the carbon emissions reduction target from ‘at least 60% to at least 80% by 2050’. It will also urge that the UK’s share of emissions from international aviation and shipping in the reduction, be included.

Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Affairs will meet a delegation to hear their concerns in the afternoon.

Sister Pat Robb, CJ, a nun who wlll take part in the march, said: “The poorest for whom life is already a real struggle will bear the brunt of climate change, while those that have consumed more than their fair share of the earth will not have to pay such a heavy price. We have to remember that the earth was given to us by God to feed us all, in return we must love and care for it. That is why as a religious community we feel it is our obligation to lobby our MPs on this important issue.”

Chris Bain, Director of CAFOD, said: “Tackling climate change is essential if the Government's good work in fighting poverty is not to be undermined by rising global temperatures which hit the world’s poor hardest. We desperately need to see a strong Bill going through parliament, which shows the UK is taking tough action on climate change, and gives the Government a mandate to speak out at crucial international talks.”

In 2005, CAFOD worked with religious orders to organise hundreds of religious from Roman Catholic and Anglican orders to lobby their MPs as part of the Make Poverty History campaign.

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