The time is NOW!
Friday 28th June 2019
Lower V take their call to Parliament.
On Wednesday 26th June Lower V pupils, accompanied by Mrs McDermott took part in the mass lobby of Parliament, The Time is Now, to call for action on climate change with CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, taking their call for climate and environmental action to the heart of Government.
Along with thousands of other supporters, they converged on Westminster to meet with their MPs and demand an urgent response to the environmental and climate crisis.
The pupils joined campaigners from across the UK to ask politicians to commit to end 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 RE, said “This was a great experience for staff and girls to take action and be involved in such an important event. As a Catholic school it is essential that we put our faith into action and realise that our learning reaches far beyond the classroom. In his letter ‘Laudato Si‘, Pope Francis tells us, “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.”
It’s a small, if fragile, world! The Lower V group bumped into a past pupil, Roisin (centre in Hi-vis) who now works for CAFOD.
Several pupils commented on their experience. Sennen told Dr Huq about some of our initiatives in school, such as banning single-use plastics and asked what such initiatives there were in the Houses of Parliament. Marianne and Shani told Dr Huq about the search engine ‘Ecosia’ that the Eco-prefects are hoping the school to use instead of Google. Marianne said it was, “great that I made a difference by speaking to our MP and I hope she remembered what I told her about Ecosia!”
Havisha commented, “It was inspiring to see so many individuals being able to make a difference”. Tanita added, “It was great for young people to be given a voice.”
Other members of the public from our constituency spoke to Mrs McDermott on the lobby line about how impressed they were to see a school trip on the lobby and how great it was 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.
Our girls made quite an impact on the lobby as, when Mrs McDermott returned to school, a message had been left by a member of the public who had heard our girls speak to Dr Huq and rang to say how impressed she was with the intelligent questions asked by the St Augustine’s Priory girls.
Monica Conmee, CAFOD’s Head of Education said “It’s inspiring to see so many young people taking action on climate change. Young people understand the urgent need for MPs to take action now and they’ve been asking for our government to go further, faster in order 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.