Earth Day 2024: how we’re working for a safer climate future for all

April 22 is Earth Day, a day to reflect on the impact of climate change and advocate for a safer climate future for all.  

According to the UN, up to 132 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty over the next decade because of the climate crisis. Climate change will ultimately impact us all, but the poor have been the first to suffer.  

Extreme weather events such as longer droughts and stronger storms are becoming more common. These events tend to have an outsize impact on vulnerable communities that often lack good infrastructure and don’t have easy access to things like clean drinking water in the wake of an emergency.  

Severe harsh water flow from the 2022 Pakistan Floods. Photo: Caritas Pakistan
Severe harsh water flow from the 2022 Pakistan Floods. Photo: Caritas Pakistan

What we’re doing 

When climate related disaster and emergencies happen, Caritas Australia and our partners respond to provide emergency shelter, access to safe water and food, and other essential needs.  

We also work with communities on longer-term responses such as disaster preparedness training.  

It’s also important to not just respond to disaster, but to advocate for leaders to take action on climate change to create a safer future.  

Here are three things we are calling on the Australian government to do through our advocacy efforts:  

Adopt and implement an ambitious, credible and just plan to tackle climate change

Support local responses to climate resilience and adaptation

Make big polluters pay for the loss and damage they have caused

Last year at COP28, Caritas Australia and partners released the Unheard, Uncharted report, which looks at the way non-economic loss and damage is impacting climate-vulnerable communities around the world, for example through loss of traditions and culture. You can read the full report here. 

We are also part of the Safer World for All campaign, one of the core parts of which is advocating for a safer climate future for all people.  

In May 2015, Pope Francis released his Laudato Si’ encyclical, which was an urgent and imperative call to address the ecological crisis facing the planet. As a result of this, we have released a Laudato Si’ Action Plan, which is a roadmap for fostering sustainability across all levels of our organisation and work.  You can read it here 

How you can help 

  • Make a donation to our Climate Emergency appeal to help support vulnerable communities that have been affected by climate change around the world. 
  • Add your voice to the call for a Safer World for All
  • Contact your local MP and tell them about your concerns.