Retired Whitehead GP to air climate change views in Glasgow as city hosts COP26

A retired GP from Whitehead is preparing to travel to Glasgow this weekend to join demonstrations coinciding with the UN climate summit, COP26.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 4:24 pm

Dr Jeni McAughey will be among tens of thousands who are expected to fill the streets of the Scottish city this Saturday (November 6), demanding that political leaders tackle the planetary emergency and its impacts on the world’s most vulnerable people.

Jeni will be part of a five-strong delegation of Christian Aid activists who will travel from Belfast to Glasgow by coach and ferry, leaving Friday and returning two days later.

Included with their luggage will be thousands of origami paper boats which will join a ‘flotilla’ of thousands of ‘little boats’ being displayed in a Glasgow cathedral to coincide with the crucial summit. Over recent weeks, Christian Aid supporters have been folding pieces of paper into the shape of a boat, inside which they wrote their hopes and prayers for the effort to avert runaway climate change.

Retired Whitehead GP Dr Jeni McAughey (centre) is among five Christian Aid Ireland activists travelling to Glasgow to join street demonstrations demanding climate justice for developing countries. The others are (back row) Rev Cheryl Meban from Lisburn, Stephen Trew from Lurgan, Helen Newell from Belfast and Darren Vermaak from Dublin. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.

Among the boatmakers was Colin Fisher, who works in IT for the health service and is the charity’s representative at Carrickfergus Methodist Church.

He said: “I have been fundraising for Christian Aid in Carrickfergus for more than 20 years. When I started, I was part of the Make Poverty History campaign. Unless world leaders take decisive action in Glasgow, far from making poverty history, climate change will make poverty permanent.”

The paper boats, the charity explained, symbolise that we aren’t in the same boat when it comes to dealing with the impact of climate change. Richer, polluting countries are well-placed to cope with its effects while people in developing countries, where emissions are low, are already experiencing intense heatwaves, prolonged drought, dangerous cyclones, calamitous flooding and devastating locust swarm, according to Christain Aid.

Jeni, who is a member of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Whitehead, has been an environmental activist for many years. She is a member of the Third Order, Society of St Francis, an Anglican lay order committed to living simply and caring for creation. She is also a board member of Jubilee Farm near Larne - Northern Ireland’s first community farm which aspires to producing food in harmony with nature.

Colin Fisher made a folded paper boat inside which he wrote his hopes for the COP climate summit.

Rosamond Bennett, Christian Aid Ireland chief executive, thanked Jeni for taking the time to travel to Glasgow to show her support for people in developing countries.

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Click here to read: Carrickfergus pupils negotiate on Climate Change issues at mock COP26 conference

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