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Why we must campaign for a greener future

27 March 2014 | by Jo Chamberlain

Jo Chamberlain, a supporter from Sheffield, recently joined us for an activism training day. The focus was on using investments – whether through our pension funds or shares that we hold – as a lever for change.

Jo tells us how she came to be involved and asks: what future do we want?

Christian Aid opened my mind to the injustice of global poverty at the Greenbelt Festival in the early 90s. But I wasn’t left with a feeling of helplessness in the face of an enormous problem.

Rather, Christian Aid provided a way to engage with the problem.

Since then, I’ve petitioned supermarkets to stock Fairtrade products, campaigned against unpayable debt forming a human chain round Birmingham and joined the call to Make Poverty History.

My greatest pleasure has been getting my children involved. We went to the BIG IF event in Hyde Park last summer. It was amazing, in terms of what we achieved, in opening my children’s eyes, and having a great day!

Climate change and the poor

I was surprised when Christian Aid got involved in campaigning about climate change, but the reasoning is clear.

Climate change is having a devastating impact on the poorest – those with the least resources to adapt, or to challenge the powerful who cause most of the problem. 

I joined the climate justice vigil in Manchester during the Conservative Party conference in 2011.

I went to the activism training to gain new skills and confidence to take campaigns directly to companies. The idea of standing up in a company AGM is still daunting, but also thrilling.

Funding a greener future

But the big revelation of the day was around pensions. They don’t just provide for our future with a monthly sum when we retire, the things our money is invested in now are building our future too.

What kind of future do we want? One based on a low-carbon economy, renewable energy and resilience to climate change here and abroad.

I wrote a blog about my experience on the day.

My pension is with the NHS, so not based on shares. But my husband and our friends all have pensions with funds which can be challenged to fund a greener, fairer future.

What you can do

Read more about the Green Light campaign here and contact your pension fund today.  

About the author

One of our supporters, Jo Chamberlain

Jo Chamberlain is a Christian Aid supporter and campaigner

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