Parishioners Lobby MP to build a better world post-COVID
As part of the CAFOD campaign, parishioners from Our Lady of Lourdes, Wheatley, together with St Joseph’s Thame and Our Lady and St John, Goring-on-Thames, met on Tuesday evening by Zoom with John Howell, MP for Henley. Recognising that the coronavirus pandemic has been the greatest health crisis in a century, Pope Francis has reminded us all that this moment of extraordinary turmoil is the time to rethink the future of our common home. John Howell was asked to support the increasing number of Parliamentarians calling for the international aid budget to be restored to 0.7% of Gross National Income. The group also lobbied him on supporting vaccine roll-out to the poor countries of the world, saying that the G7 offer of 1 billion doses was well short of the 11 billion needed to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population, suggested by the World Health Organisation. The group also spoke about the need to cancel the debt to those many countries where annual repayment of the debt was several times higher than they were able to spend on health. Finally the group spoke about the critical need to reduce use of fossil fuel across the world to keep the global warming limit below 1.5°C. Although science is already clear that the 1.5°C target can be met it cannot say whether it will be met. Mr Howell said that he was one of many MPs working hard on this issue and he agreed to write to Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and also President of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), to answer questions on climate finance put to him by the group.