Quaker Peace and Social Witness has shared that on 22 September, individuals were invited to participate in Loss and Damage Action Day. Last week, people around the world stood in solidarity with those living under the worst conditions of the climate crisis and called for “polluters to pay up.” As rich countries and large emitters of greenhouse gas emissions continue to knowingly damage the planet and threaten the well being of the earth’s most vulnerable, Quakers continue to call for urgent, sustainable and transformative climate action.
Photo by Michael Preston
Loss and Damage refers specifically to the negative impacts of climate change that have already been experienced. It also refers to those losses that have yet to occur but inevitably will. Often the people most impacted are already the poorest and most vulnerable inhabitants of earth who have contributed the least to the climate crisis. On the 22nd, hundreds of Quakers and others came together across the United Kingdom, including as part of a walk of witness from St. John’s Church, Waterloo, to Parliament Square, in order to increase pressure on the largest polluters to be responsible for the consequences of their actions.
Photo by Michael Preston
As the climate crisis continues to be increasingly felt around the world, it is more important than ever to put pressure on those most responsible. To stand in solidarity at any time of the year with those most impacted by climate change, here are a few simple actions you can take:
1. Write to your national representatives to tell them about how important it is to fund loss and damage.
Kwibuka Yearly Meeting in Burundi engages Friends and non-friends through a wide range of actions to encourage environmental protection and economic development. This happens through the “Christian Action in a World of Distress” Program. Some of the activities include teaching young vegetable farmers to make organic pesticides and fertilizer to prevent environmental degradation, how to transform non-biodegradable plastics into useful tools, and offer retreats to foster youth leadership in climate action. The group is also planning to open three new nurseries to help combat deforestation.
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.“
On December 1st, 2019, the Sunday before COP25 in Madrid started, several organizations, including Quaker United Nations office, organized a Interfaith Dialogue and Service. Lindsey Fielder Cook and Detmer Yens Kremer were present for QUNO, Carmen Alcalde represented the Madrid Meeting. During the day many thoughts regarding the responsibility of faith communities to act on climate action urgently and with a united voice. Lindsey Fielder Cook spoke on a panel regarding faith perspectives on climate change, and Detmer Yens Kremer shared a poem by Anohni and guided those gathered in silence during the service itself.
October 6th is World Quaker Day, and many Friends and their respective meetings around the world gathered around the climate-conscious theme of “Sustainability: planting seeds of renewal for the world we love”.
Hill House Meeting in Ghana started by discussing a range of questions to engage with what sustainability is and how it connects to Quaker testimonies, from which in particular arose the importance of the future, of planning ahead and considering generations to come. This is expressed in a Ghanaian proverb that says ‘dea wodua na wobu’ – meaning you reap what you sow. So if you plant good seeds (good ideas) you will have good results (expression of love and care) for the future. Other items discussed ranged from good governance to land tenure and electricity production. Ultimately this translated in Hill House Meeting committing to more environmental practices as a community and as individuals.
Richard Whiteford, shown here, is with a Governor Wolf (the Governor of Pennsylvania) cutout, sending him the message: “Leave carbon in the ground or humans won’t be around”. Richard Whiteford also maintains a blog sharing his writing on climate change. This includes a recent piece on COVID-19 and its climate lessons.
Here are a few pictures from the Eco-Congregational Ireland newsletter. Read the full newsletter to keep up to date with their activities and current news and information from other NGOs and faith organisations.
In May, 200,000 people in Washington D.C and thousands more around the the US participated in a climate march showing their love care and concern for our planet. It was an energetic march full of creativity and diversity, with a strong resounding message to the Trump Administration- ‘WE CARE ABOUT THIS’.
Here are a few of the many inspirational photos from the Metro NY Catholic Climate Movement, who were the largest group of Catholics in the march.