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.
Friends Journal QuakerSpeak video on seeking Right Relationship with Native Americans can be watched here and this article discusses Quaker Boarding Schools.
Use this tool to navigate a map to find out whose land you are on.
This article is on the history of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and 8 Indigenous rights groups to support and learn about.
The art featured in this post was created by artist Blue Rain, of the Muscogee / Creek Nation, whose land the Atlanta QVS community is on.
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.
You can access the toolkit here.
On 31 October 2017, the 1 Gigaton Coalition Report and UN Environment Emission Gap Report were released. Read more detail about the reports here or read the main takeaway points below:
The latest UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report finds that national pledges only bring a third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate that would help close this worrying gap. As things stand, even full implementation of current unconditional and conditional Nationally Determined Contributions makes a temperature increase of at least 3oC by 2100 very likely.
The report lays out practical ways to slash emissions through rapidly expanding mitigation action based on existing options in the agriculture, buildings, energy, forestry, industry and transport sectors.
The 1 Gigaton Coalition report shows that partner-supported renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries can cut 1.4 GtCO2e by 2020 – provided the international community meets its promise to mobilize US$100 billion per year to help developing countries adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions.