The point of view Bernard White, a British volunteer travelling to Paris – CIDSE

The point of view Bernard White, a British volunteer travelling to Paris

The climate movement around the world stands for peace and justice.

With the recent attacks in Beirut and Paris, now more than ever CIDSE partners are committed to calling on world leaders to take measures to slow down and stop the current process of climate change and to put an end to the harmful effects it is having on the lives of people, and in particular, the poorest people in the world. Many campaigners like CAFOD’s Bernard White will be travelling to Paris to learn more about living sustainably, share experiences with CIDSE campaigners from across Europe and reflect on caring for our common home.

Bernard, who has travelled with CAFOD as a volunteer to Honduras and Nicaragua, has seen first-hand how CAFOD’s partners are using disaster risk reduction to mitigate and adapt to extreme weather which could be more prevalent if we don’t tackle climate change. This learning experience inspired Bernard to join CAFOD at the 2010 UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

“I’m not sure what impact we had at the time, but the experience was very meaningful to me as a participant,” Bernard explains.

Bernard remained a committed campaigner, despite the outcome in Copenhagen and continues to find inspiration through Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’. “I am inspired to live sustainably by what I understand about climate change and its effects on people both now and in the future. I have also been very moved by what Pope Francis says in Laudato Si’ about the planet and God’s creation as a whole, and the connections between the well-being of our planet, people, lifestyles, ambitions and our regard for the common good.”

The Paris COP is an important step to tackling climate change, but Bernard believes we can all play our part in living more sustainably in our daily lives. “I think that worthwhile changes could be made, such as driving less, driving more efficiently and driving cars with more fuel efficient engines.”

Five years after Copenhagen, Bernard is as motivated as ever to come to Paris and show solidarity for those most affected by climate change. He believes it’s time for world leaders to listen. “We need to put firmly on the political agenda the needs of the poorest countries in the world and provide assistance for them in any way to limit the present impacts of climate change and develop a way to be resistant to it. Politicians worldwide will need courage, driven and supported by worldwide collaboration, to promote and adopt such policies.”

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