A Government Official’s Toolkit: inspiring urgent climate action, with 12 concise cases and 231 quotes referenced to over 100 published papers (now including the IPCC Special Reports on: Global Warming of 1.5C Climate Change and Land Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate) is now available online. This update is written to support government officials—at local, regional and national levels—who are concerned about the impact of climate change on their citizens, their country, and the planet. It offers a range of concise cases to help you engage with different concerns, and integrate scientific, rights-based, and Indigenous knowledge and approaches throughout the Toolkit.
This toolkit serves to empower citizens to give and send to their government officials to inform and encourage calls for stronger climate action.
The International Labour Organization has released a specific policy brief regarding the needs to consult and include persons with disabilities in climate change adaptation and mitigation, specifically regarding transitions to a new and green economy. Persons with disabilities often experience multiple negative impacts from climate change, especially when their lived experiences intersect with other disproportionately climate change-vulnerable characteristics such as gender, indigeneity, socio-economic status, and race. The brief includes a convenient overview of existing frameworks to guide action. The policy brief emphasizes the important of inclusive participation, skill-development support as economies transition, and leverage the often untapped potential of persons with disabilities in imagining and implementing green and just economies.
This week an increasing number of US states, cities, and other municipalities celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a deliberate space to reflect on the history, present, and future of Indigenous peoples in Turtle Island/USA/Canada specifically and worldwide generally. Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS), a Turtle Island/United States based Quaker service organization, shared several resources to help further understand this particular day, including Quaker complicity in Indigenous oppression, and avenues to take action. QVS wrote that “We’re excited to honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! The strength and resilience of Native Peoples who have long stewarded the land we live upon is seen and lauded. There is much work to be done in addressing historical and modern harm to our Indigenous siblings, let us collectively move and work towards that justice!” As indigenous peoples are at the forefront of being affected by climate change while also being leaders in the movement to save our planet, the following resources can be helpful in reflecting on Quakers’ specific relationship with Indigenous peoples and the ways we can support and be in solidarity with Indigenous communities.
QUNO, under the Friends World Committee for Consultation, is the only faith-based organization accredited as an observer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which collates climate science findings to advise all countries. While government representatives cannot change text in the reports, they can negotiate language in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), so long as the integrity of the findings is not affected. Negotiation can result in weakening SPM language. At the recent IPCC meeting on Land, QUNO’s Representative for Climate Change, Lindsey Fielder Cook, sought to protect language on sustainable and restorative behavior (diet, farming, consumption, restoration/regeneration of eco-systems) and consequences to insufficient action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. She summarized the Report’s main messages as: 1) land is currently absorbing (sink) some 20% of GHG emissions, 2) land degradation must be reversed and overall GHG emissions reduced, and 3) without this, land will become a GHG emission ‘source’, leading to irreversible eco-system collapse and ‘substantial additional GHG emissions from ecosystems that would accelerate global warming’.
The Escazú Agreement is a ground breaking multilateral agreement signed by 16 Latin America and Caribbean nations that will be a crucial tool for climate and environmental protection in the years to come.
Articles 8 and 9 concern access to justice, especially significant for human rights defenders.
At the end of 2018 the IPCC published their full report on the difference between 1.5 °C verses 2 °C warming. The report was a comprehensive 700 page exploration. The United Nations met in Inchon in South Korea to negotiate the Summary Report for Policy Makers. This special report is the much shorter with less information on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. The report was defined by the political voices in the room, but was crafted to help states choose actions in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
The full report , the summary report and more are both available on the IPCC’s website.
QUNO completed their newest toolkit in time for 2018’s Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Katowice.
The document was aimed at ensuring that negotiators and government officials. Every single argument made in the toolkit was referenced to the most up-to-date scientific research, meaning that officials had access to all the facts that they needed in order truly understand the importance of their own actions at the COP and beyond.