On a seasonally cold Monday morning on 28 November, CAFOD Director, Chris Bain alongside CAFOD supporters and staff came together outside 11 Downing Street to present Don’t Drop the Ball action cards to George Osborne.
Throughout the summer, CAFOD supporters, be it in your pews, parishes, at festivals or in faith groups across England and Wales, have been getting behind the campaign. And your calls to the chancellor – urging him to champion a Green Climate Fund at Durban as well as finding innovative forms of finance for the fund such as a Robin Hood Tax – were handed in on Monday.
10,000 gave their names
Thanks to your support, we were proud to deliver over 10,000 cards to 11 Downing Street.
CAFOD Director, Chris Bain commented on the size of response to the campaign: “It shows that people care, that they are really serious about climate change. It shows that they are really serious about those countries who have contributed adversely to climate change playing a part in finding solutions. It shows tremendous concern – it’s a wonderful achievement of our campaigners and supporters in getting George Osborne to listen.
“At the core of our faith is a sense of loving your neighbour. As well as the small acts of charity, it’s about addressing the long-term problems that cause suffering to our neighbours. I see it as a core of our faith.”
CAFOD campaigner Rachel McCarthy, 22, who joined us outside Number 11, said, “It’s very exciting to be at the heart of a campaigns hand-in. It’s an incredible opportunity to represent all CAFOD supporters in England and Wales and the people who CAFOD works with throughout the world. It’s a chance to raise our voices together.”
Important to show how many care
To celebrate the hand in, CAFOD supporter and student Joanne Mountford, 23, was on hand to help with the cards and to provide some juggling support. “Although it’s cold, it’s amazing to be here today. It’s really important for us to show how many people care about climate change.”
Anthuanette Hidalgo, 36, from Peru who also helped with the hand-in was unequivocal about why putting your name to a campaign is vital: “I believe in citizenship – participating. Signing a card is an invitation for people to feel that they are part of this government, part of our society and that they actually have a voice. I truly believe this. A lot of countries don’t have the opportunity to take part in democracy like this.”
Hand-in coincides with Durban
The hand-in took place on the same day as the start of the UN climate change talks in Durban – a timely reminder for the Government that they need to show clear leadership in South Africa on climate finance and the move towards agreeing a binding deal on climate change.
CAFOD’s Parliamentary Adviser, Dominic Goggins, also joined the Downing Street hand-in. He said, “I speak to Government every day, but nothing compares to thousands of CAFOD supporters speaking with one voice. Being able to come to Downing Street today means that voice is heard. The global economy is in turmoil, the Chancellor is only a day away from making his Autumn Financial Statement to the country, yet CAFOD supporters new and old have reminded him of his promise to the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. As an ordinary CAFOD supporter like the other 9,999 others who took this action, days like today make me incredibly proud.”