Nuns lobby MP on climate change

AN ESSEX MP had a spot of divine intervention this week when a group of nuns visited the House of Commons to discuss the issue of climate change.

AN ESSEX MP had a spot of divine intervention this week when a group of nuns visited the House of Commons to discuss the issue of climate change.

Eight nuns from the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre in Anderson Avenue in Chelmsford were among hundreds of nuns, monks and clergy who descended on Parliament with posters and banners calling on their MP to “Kick the Carbon Habit” and “Stop Climate Chaos”.

The group wanted MPs to strengthen the Climate Change Bill by increasing the carbon emissions reduction target from 60% to at least 80% by 2050.

They also wanted the Government to include the UK's shares of emissions from international aviation and shipping in the reduction.

After his spiritual meeting with the nuns, Simon Burns, MP for West Chelmsford, said: “We had a discussion about the need to educate people to become more environmentally-friendly and take more care with things such as waste disposal and recycling.

“We as a party support their campaign to strengthen the Climate Change Bill by increasing the carbon emissions reduction target.”

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Among the nuns who took part in the event were Sisters Jo Thompson, Philomena Purcell and Moira O'Sullivan from Chelmsford.

They said: “We are at a pivotal moment as to what happens globally for the future of the planet.

“You can make wrong decisions about taxes, but you can't make wrong decisions about the earth.”

They added: “It was important that we came together as a religious gathering, to talk and let our views be heard.”

Having already seen first-hand the effects of climate change and global warming on the world's poorest communities, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (Cafod) organised the lobby along with the Conference of Religious (CoR) and the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Links (JPIC).

Despite contributing to climate change the least, people in developing countries are the first to experience the impacts of it.

According to some reports around 150,000 people die each year from the effects of climate change, with the vast majority living in developing countries.

Cafod director Chris Bain 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.”

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