In November 2015, Ann Wilson and Ged Edwards cycled to Paris to attend the COP21 talks. The globe came together to encourage world leaders to create an ambitious and legally binding agreement. The historic Paris Agreement was the result. On Earth Day, 22nd April 2016, the Paris Agreement was signed by 171 countries.
Undertaking a cycle pilgrimage to Paris, Ann and Ged were able to put their faith into action.
“My faith calls me to act justly. Working with CAFOD’s ‘Power to the People’ enables me to put that faith into action to protect God’s creation and God’s people.” (Ann Wilson)
To arrive at the Paris Talk, CAFOD supporters walked and cycled the route from London to Paris. CAFOD attended the Paris Talks with a delegation, urging world leaders to support Climate Justice.
When asked, why he went to Paris, Ged replied;
“We must save the earth and its beauty for future generations. I want to be part of the solution which renews its commitment to the natural world and supports all people because we all matter. Pope Francis has shown us the way and we can follow.”
Ann and Ged were both in Paris to make a difference and to be part of the difference. A key moment for Ann and Ged was handing in a petition to Christiana Figueres shortly after their arrival into Paris.
Ann shared that;
“The highlight for me was the coming together in Paris with pilgrims from all over the world. I felt that collectively we could make a difference.”
The highlight of the pilgrimage for Ged was;
“presenting the 1.8m signature petition to the UN’s Committee for Climate Change, Secretary Christiana Figueres, from the world’s faith communities. 40,000 of these were from CAFOD, Sciaf and Trocaire supporters.”
This moment has not been forgotten by Christiana Figueres either. In the Grantham Lecture on the 11th April 2016 a member from the audience asked Christiana Figueres where she saw the role of the individual in Climate Change.
Her response was completely unexpected and completely powerful.
Christiana Figueres said;
“I was incredibly blessed and privileged, just one day before we began Paris, to receive a very long scroll, a very long scroll that was signed by 1.8 million people around the world. Saying; A, we want not just a Paris Agreement, we want an ambitious Paris Agreement and B, we are doing everything in our personal life to [play] our part in [combating] Climate Change.”
Climate Change is a global issue that needs a global response. The signing of the Paris Agreement reminds us that Our Common Home is made up of seven billion individuals. Each individual has their part to play in protecting our plant.
“I can see the devastating effects the climate is having on our partners overseas and want to do my bit to change this by personal actions and working together to make a difference.” (Ann Wilson)
You can support the Power to the People campaign, asking for greater access to renewable energy.
The Paris Agreement was signed today by over 171 countries. This in itself is monumentally historical. Never before, have so many countries signed an agreement on the day of its opening.
The signing of the Paris Agreement is only a new beginning.
“It’s great that there is a deal to sign today. We now can persuade our governments to stop investing in fossil fuels and support renewables so the market will follow. We can do this!” (Ged Edwards)
“The Paris agreement is part of a process, a journey towards a sustainable environment. We need to keep the pressure on the politicians to ensure our voices are heard.” (Ann Wilson)
You can add your voice and support the Power to the People campaign, asking for greater access to renewable energy to those overseas.
Christiana Figueres, speaking at the Grantham Lecture on the 11th April 2016, said;
“The good news, there’s never been a greater opportunity to make change.”
Be part of that change. Bring Power to the People by telling Nick Hurd MP to support energy services overseas.