George Rhee, Associate Director NASA Spacegrant Nevada and Physics and Astronomy Professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas and with childhood connections with Geneva Monthly Meeting, has shared a brief video exploring the parallels between responses to climate change and COVID-19, the roles we have in our local communities, and what it would take to transition away from fossil fuels. Rhee has also devised a calculator to assist in what energy transitions might look like.
QUNO, through the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), is the only faith-based observer at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the latest IPCC Meeting, held from 24-28 February in Paris, countries negotiated an outline for the Synthesis Report of the upcoming 6th Assessment Report, to be released in 2022.
QUNO’s Representative for Climate Change, Lindsey Fielder Cook, made four interventions during the week, which can be found here, alongside additional information. These related to the addition of (or protecting existing) language on the essential role of civil society/public participation, rights-based approaches to climate action, non-economic losses and loss and damage when calculating ‘costs’, and ‘behavior change’ to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to locked in climate change.
A large coalition led by the Rainforest Action Network, and endorsed by Indigenous peoples, and environmental, human rights, and interfaith groups from around the world, have released a comprehensive report tracking the investments of banks in fossil fuels. The research contains data indicating JP Morgan Chase, closely followed by Wells Fargo and Citi, invest the most in fossil fuels. The report further presents different personal stories and different areas where banks specifically invest their fossil fuel money in, such as the Arctic or tar sands.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has shared powerful research into the connection between climate change and the United States military. FCNL states that “A militaristic lens to climate solutions is not the answer. If the U.S. wants to sincerely address the climate crisis, solutions must be based in humanitarianism and diplomacy, not a larger military footprint.” FCNL also recommends particular actions American citizens can undertake to counter the varied militarized dimensions of climate change and climate action.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has joined an interfaith coalition to draft a set of principles regarding the possible implementation of carbon pricing. These principles, which aim to assist policy makers when drafting carbon pricing mechanisms, focus on stewardship, sustainability, dialogue, and justice and human dignity. More information about carbon pricing, and FCNL’s particular work on it, can be found here.
QUNO delivered an oral statement at the 43rd session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC), recognizing the work of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment showing how human rights are seriously affected by a degraded environment. QUNO’s statement, delivered by Programme Assistant Detmer Yens Kremer, encouraged the HRC to make “an historic contribution by adopting a resolution recognizing the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment,” and also emphasized that the time for action is now.
Friend Brian Wardrop shares thoughts regarding his participation at an extinction rebellion protest in the attached article and elaborates on how Chelmsford Local Meeting engages with Extinction Rebellion;
“We are members of Chelmsford Local Meeting in Essex. Extinction Rebellion Chelmsford (XRC) was formed in February 2019. Several activist Friends in our Meeting joined the movement and, after discussion, Chelmsford Meeting agreed to support them and XRC.
Chelmsford Meeting provides premises for XRC events, as well as for XR Quaker groups passing through that need accommodation, such as a group of Quakers from Norwich cycling to London to join the April Rebellion.
Because Jean and I live so close to London, and are now retired, we have been able to lend our support to actions such as The Time is Now lobby of MPs, and events during the October Rebellion, such as the XR Grandparents rally outside Buckingham Palace.“
For the next session of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report on the rights of the child through a healthy environment. This report details the obligations of states and the responsibilities of states regarding the enjoyment of children’s rights and the environment. It includes climate change child activists, environmental health impacts of child labor, and best practices from international, regional, and national governments.
Canadian Friends Service Committee has released a statement in support of the ongoing protests by the Wet’suwet’en Nation people and hereditary chiefs in opposition to proposed pipelines on unceded land. The statement includes that “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples affirms rights and related obligations to ensure that conflicts like this will not be addressed violently or militarily but rather resolved with negotiated solutions.” It is a reminder that climate change is a peace and justice issue.
Friends World Committee for Consultation has created a Sustainability Resources list on their website, which includes reports from different meetings around the world, personal testimonies from Friends, and links to publications and podcasts from FWCC as well as other Quaker organizations such as QUNO and Quakers in Britain. FWCC also has an Instagram page where more information and narrative is shared.