View from Europe
On 2 June 2009, the Scottish Parliament passed one of the world’s most ambitious climate change legislations – the Scottish Climate Change Act. Finally, a country has agreed to do what is required to avoid dangerous climate change, as opposed to what is deemed politically possible.
This success represented the culmination of two years of hard campaigning by the Scottish Catholic international Aid Fund (SCiAF – Caritas Scotland), along with their colleagues in the Stop Climate Chaos coalition in Scotland. Thousands of SCiAF supporters then contacted their parliamentarians as part of a campaign that also involved formal submissions to parliament, lobby events and a concerted media drive.
Meanwhile in Austria, Caritas local groups took part in a day of action with churches across the country ringing bells and a “Climate Justice march” through Vienna from the Cathedral to the ministry of the Environment.
And Caritas Luxembourg chose twenty ordinary people to be part of the “ 0 Degrees Panel”, seeing for themselves the impact of climate change in Bangladesh. On their return home they spread the message of the impact of climate change, something that was brought home to them in may 2009 when Cyclone Aila wiped out one of the villages that they had visited just three months earlier.
Equipped with educational training and an eco-package containing everything from energy-saving light bulbs to power switches that automatically turn off all energy use when leaving home, the unemployed throughout Germany has been able to substantially reduce their energy consumption thanks to a Caritas campaign. So far, the financial benefits of this project has spread throughout Germany, reaching over 10,000 people in 500 villages.
RESOURCESAnnual reportHow Caritas works: Climate Change Guide on Environmental JusticeClimate change on Caritas BlogClimate justice newsletter vol. 6