A member of the Cathedral Eco Group will be running the Worcester Half Marathon on Sunday 4th September to raise awareness about climate injustice.
Paul Grime, who is 58 and worships at the Cathedral, joined the Eco Group earlier this year, after relocating to the city.
He is running the Worcester Half Marathon to raise awareness of the Loss and Damage Petition - an online petition for the creation of an international fund to redress the injustice of climate change, i.e. that those who contribute least to causing climate change suffer the most from it.
The Worcester City Run falls on Climate Sunday this year, and rather than asking for financial sponsorship, Paul is asking people to sign and share the petition. Paul is passionate about social justice and climate change in particular and has volunteered as a speaker for the past 10 years with Christian Aid.
He has previously run the London Marathon in 2017 and the Edinburgh Marathon in 2019, in support of the charity. In June 2022 Paul took on the voluntary role of Climate Campaign Organiser with Christian Aid in order to campaign about climate justice.
Paul said: “The aim of the petition is to ask the Prime Minister to set up international funding so that those countries that contribute the least, but suffer the most from climate change, can have some redress.
“As part of my role with Christian Aid, in 2019 I was fortunate enough to visit Ethiopia where I witnessed first-hand some of the impacts that climate change is having. We asked local people what message they would send back to the UK, and they simply said, ‘please stop doing the things that cause climate change.’ It was quite sobering to hear their message.
“We all contribute to climate change, be it through driving petrol cars or using fossil fuels, and we notice it when the river floods, or we have a particularly hot summer. But for the people in Ethiopia, it really is life and death.
“They're so vulnerable because they have no buffer. When crops fail and they can't feed their livestock, their children die. We spoke to people in their 30s who told us how much the climate had changed in their lifetime.
“I’m very passionate about climate justice and the work I do for Christian Aid, supporting the charity in trying to eradicate poverty and changing social structures that perpetuate it. I hope that by completing the Worcester Half Marathon I can raise awareness and get more people to sign this important petition.”
The Vice-Dean at Worcester Cathedral, Canon Stephen Edwards, added: “In running the Worcester half marathon for climate justice, Paul is drawing attention to the ways in which our actions directly affect the lives of others across the globe, often in the most vulnerable places.
“Worcester Cathedral declared a climate emergency last year and we are committed to encouraging action and lifestyle changes to make a positive difference in the face of climate change. Christian Aid’s campaign highlights our inter-dependence and provides an opportunity to make our voices heard. Run well Paul!”
The petition has just over 7,000 signatures so far.