Pupils and staff from St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing have taken their call for climate and environmental action to the heart of government.
Along with thousands of other supporters, they converged on Westminster on 26th June to ask politicians to commit to ending the UK’s contribution to climate change by implementing net zero by 2045, further and faster than the government’s current commitment.
Mrs McDermott, Head of Religious Education at St Augustine’s said ‘As a Catholic school, we must put our faith into action and realise that our learning reaches far beyond the classroom. In Laudato Si' Pope Francis tells us that, "the world is a gift from God". We need to stop the destruction of this beautiful gift and act now! As a school, we already do so much for the environment but by speaking to our MP Dr Rupa Huq, we, as a community, are asking politicians to act now.’
One of the pupils, Sennen, told Dr Huq about some of the initiatives in school, such as banning single-use plastics and asked what initiatives there were in the Houses of Parliament. Other pupils, Marianne and Shani, told Dr Huq about the search engine Ecosia that the Eco-prefects are hoping the school will use instead of Google as it plants trees through donations to non-profit organisations that focus on reforestation and conservationism. Marianne says, ‘It was great that I made a difference by speaking to our MP and I hope she remembered what I told her about Ecosia!’
Other members of the public from the school’s constituency spoke to Mrs McDermott on the lobby line about how impressed they were that the school had brought the girls to see democracy in action and to give them a voice for a cause that is so important to them.
Monica Conmee, CAFOD’s Head of Education said, ‘Young people understand the urgent need for MPs to take action now and they’ve been asking for our government to go further, faster to reach net zero by 2045. Climate change is already having an impact on some of the poorest communities in the world and some of CAFOD’s international staff have been sharing that experience with the young people who were lobbying their MPs today.’
The Government will be making important decisions about how to implement their net zero emissions target and legislating for stronger environmental laws later in the year.