Redgrave mother presents climate change petition to French president

Judith Tooth, of Redgrave, outside the climate change negotations in Paris, France.
Judith Tooth, of Redgrave, outside the climate change negotations in Paris, France.

A Redgrave mother-of-four says she has had a “transformative month” after her return from campaigning at the Paris climate change summit, during which she presented a petition to the president of France.

Judith Tooth, 49, handed a petition with over 1.8 million signatures, calling for “climate justice” to French President Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace last month, as representatives from more than 190 countries met in the city to agree action to tackle climate change.

Mrs Tooth, a parishioner at the St Henry Morse Catholic Church in Diss, was acting on behalf of Pilgrimage2Paris, a group she walked with for 200 miles from London to the summit in France, where they urged the Paris Agreement to ensure the climate did not push people further into poverty.

She said: “It’s been a remarkable and transformative month for me: a month of meeting the most amazing people, committed to campaigning for climate justice; of sharing that message on foot across two countries; of sharing experiences with others, and of being in Paris as the agreement was signed.

“It marks the start of a new chapter in the campaign and we are ready with renewed hope.

“I think the President was moved by the efforts that we as pilgrims had gone to.

“He said to us: ‘Through the petitions, through the walks and pilgrimages, you have committed to defend life. It is necessary that all citizens engage and mobilise, like you have done. Your example has paved the way.’”

Mrs Tooth also joined campaigners from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) at the conference centre where the negotiations took place, and later participated in a demonstration with thousands of people near the Eiffel Tower as the summit drew to a close.

“Standing outside Le Bourget in those final hours was an important act of solidarity with those communities at most risk of the effects of climate change, and a witness to Pope Francis’s call to care for our common home,” she added.

“Joining thousands of others campaigning for climate justice at the Eiffel Tower was a further powerful demonstration of our commitment.”