The 2019 Columban Young Journalists awards for England and Wales will be presented this Wednesday 26 June, during the mass lobby of parliament on climate change.
Bishop John Arnold of Salford, the episcopal liaison in the environment, will present the prizes to young people travelling from around Britain. They produced articles and videos earlier this year on ‘The Challenge of Climate Change’.
The lobby will urge the government to do more to confront the climate crisis. The UK government has announced a net zero emissions target by 2050. But it must back this up with concrete plans, and as urgently as possible. Pope Francis feels, “there is still hope and there remains time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, provided there is prompt and resolute action”.
Politicians will be lobbied to pass ambitious laws that create a healthier environment for nature and people. ‘The time is now’ is the title of the lobby and it is organised by a grouping of more than 100 like-minded organisations. These include agencies such as CAFOD and Operation Noah, and religious groups such as the Columbans, Salesians, Jesuits and Passionists.
All MPs are being asked:
• All government departments to urgently bring forward policies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
• UK investment overseas and at home to be consistent with keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. This should include stopping all new public support for fossil fuels overseas.
• The UK shows leadership by connecting the crises of poverty, environmental degradation and climate change, and makes concrete commitments to combat them at key international events.
Schedule for the London Lobby:
From 9.30am Interfaith workshops at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square
11.30am Gather in Trafalgar Square for a walk down Whitehall as a witness to the care of all faiths for creation.
12 -1.15pm Interfaith event at Church House, Great Smith Street, with Archbishop Rowan Williams from midday.
1-4pm Lobby all around Parliament on both sides of the river.
2pm Alarms clocks and mobile phone alarms set off, sending a message to Westminster that they need to wake up and respond to the challenges our world is facing.
3pm Presentation of the Columban Journalism awards by Bishop John Arnold, with Columban Director Fr Peter Hughes.
4pm Close of the day with a Mass at Church House to reflect on and celebrate our common home.
For more information see: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate/Climate-lobby