Copper(I)-based catalysts, such as Cu2S, are considered to be very promising materials for photocatalytic CO2 reduction. A common synthesis route for Cu2S via cation exchange from CdS nanocrystals requires Cu(I) precursors, organic solvents, and neutral atmosphere, but these conditions are not compatible with in situ applications in photocatalysis. Here we propose a novel cation exchange reaction that takes advantage of the reducing potential of photoexcited electrons in the conduction band of CdS and proceeds with Cu(II) precursors in an aqueous environment and under aerobic conditions. We show that the synthesized Cu2S photocatalyst can be efficiently used for the reduction of CO2 to carbon monoxide and methane, achieving formation rates of 3.02 and 0.13 μmol h(-1) g(-1), respectively, and suppressing competing water reduction. The process opens new pathways for the preparation of new efficient photocatalysts from readily available nanostructured templates.