The Fight for Climate Justice

Communities all over the world are already being hit hard by the impacts of climate change. Every day we’re working with our partners across the globe to help people who’ve been the worst affected.

However, the solution to the climate emergency lies in developed countries. To prevent a climate catastrophe, richer countries must urgently reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We are campaigning for Scotland and the UK to do more to tackle climate change in the name of the poorest and most vulnerable, who have done the least to cause this crisis.

1. Climate Emergency

Climate change is already devastating the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

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The changing climate really affects us. In the rainy season, many houses collapse. But we could not harvest beans and soya because it was too dry.

- Claire, Rwanda 

2. We Have to Act

In 2017 the Scottish Government brought forward a Climate Change Bill to reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. We didn’t feel that this was enough, so we stepped up our campaign for more ambitious targets.

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Our love, prayers and support can only do so much to help people while a key structural issue that pushes them further into poverty like climate change goes unanswered. We brought together faith leaders from across Scotland’s religious traditions to urge the Scottish Parliament to do more.

3. Mobilising Action

SCIAF allies and supporters called on our political leaders to do more to tackle the climate emergency.

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As a Catholic aid agency we are able to bring both the lived experiences of the people we work with in the global south and the moral force of the Church to the forefront of political debates. Earlier this year, we brought Fr Chiti from Malawi to the Scottish Parliament to meet with MSPs.

4. Supporter Success

Eventually, our leaders heard our cries for more action. Our campaigning changed the hearts and minds of politicians. The Scottish Government, UK government, and opposition parties within both parliaments are now supporting some of the most ambitious climate targets in the world.

SCIAF campaigners took our message to meetings with dozens of MSPs, thousands sent campaign postcards, and many attended events to put pressure on the Scottish Government to hear the cry of the poor.

5. Pushing Further

We will continue to call for urgent action for climate justice at both the Scottish and UK Parliament, to ensure they meet their ambitious climate targets. The poorest are already suffering the impacts of climate change - they can’t wait.

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By working with politicians of all parties, we’re effective in creating change. SCIAF Policy Officer Ben Wilson and constituent and SCIAF supporter Molly McGavigan met with MSP Maurice Golden to discuss the Scottish Government’s response to climate change.

For us to survive, we need to take the environmental situation much more seriously. We need environmental laws to be stricter. We have to understand that if we continue to destroy the planet, we are destroying ourselves. The laws should protect all of us, so we can continue on this planet.

- Ricardo Navarro, Director of SCIAF partner CESTA in El Salvador, and renowned climate change campaigner

No matter how much free time you have or how involved you want to be, there are opportunties to make your voice heard. Please join with us and put your faith into action. 

Download our guide to Caring for Our Common home to cut your carbon footprint and bring Laudato Si' to life in your parish.