Pupils urge Prime Minister to show bold leadership at COP26
Pupils from Catholic high schools delivered the ‘Be BOLD Petition’ to 10 Downing Street yesterday, urging British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make bold commitments at COP 26.
The petition, created by Jesuit Missions, calls on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to show strong leadership at COP26 to limit the annual global temperature rising above 1.5°C. The pupils that delivered the petition attend St Ignatius College in Enfield, Ursuline High School in Wimbledon, and Wimbledon College in Wimbledon.
The petition asks the Prime Minister to deliver three key aims. The first being to lead global action on reducing carbon emissions. The second is to stop funding the fossil fuel industry. The third is to work with world leaders to meet the commitment to providing low-income countries with $100 billion each year in climate finance.
Director of Jesuit Missions, Paul Chitnis, said, “Global warming affects everyone especially the poorest communities in the world. The world’s leaders must show bold leadership at COP -26 and meet the commitments they have repeatedly made. Failure to do so will be measured in the lives and livelihoods of people who have done the least to cause global warming but have the most to lose.”
The ‘Be BOLD Boris’ petition has received widespread support from parishioners, pupils, and Jesuit Mission supporters. Fr Damian Howard SJ, the Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, led a prayer service at Westminster Abbey for the pupils before visiting 10 Downing Street.
Fr Damian said, “The Jesuits in Britain recognise climate change as one of the most important global issues to address. That is why we committed to divesting from fossil fuels two years ago, but we recognise more action is needed. Jesuits around the world have joined forces to engage in COP26 . The young people that are advocating for change today are an inspiration. I am delighted to be able to support them today.”
The Jesuits are committed to working for the Care of Creation. The Superior general, Fr Arturo Sosa said, “The damage done to the earth is also damage done to the most vulnerable, such as indigenous peoples, peasants forced to emigrate, and the inhabitants of urban peripheries. The environmental destruction being caused by the dominant economic system is inflicting intergenerational damage: not only does it affect those now living on earth, particularly the very young, but it also conditions and jeopardizes the life of future generations.”