The Quaker United Nations Office’s summer school program returns in person from 3-14 July 2023. Taking place at the heart of international governance, the 12-day residential program in Geneva is an opportunity for young people to learn about QUNO’s work, multilateral governance, and some of the most pressing international politics of our day, including the climate crisis. Apply by March 3rd. Click here to learn more about the program. Applications and reference letters can be accessed here.
Tag: Climate change
Loss and Damage Action Day- 22 September
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.
2. Hold a short screening of “The Global Story of Climate Change, Loss and Damage- and Who Should Pay for It” to share with friends and family the importance of polluters paying
3. Share your own #PayUp4Loss&Damage post on social media
4. Engage with future climate change justice related events in your community
5. Familiarize yourself with the People’s Climate Empowerment Series and share it with your community
Photos by Michael Preston
David Boyd’s report on the Right to a Healthy Environment.
In his report to the Fortieth Session of the Human Rights Council of march this year, the new Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, David Boyd, highlights global normative acceptance of states regarding their obligations to provide a healthy environment. In his report, Boyd states: “In total, at least 155 States are legally obligated, through treaties, constitutions, and legislation, to respect, protect and fulfil the right to a healthy environment.”
Boyd’s report argues for the fastest possible action to respond to the most pressing environmental issues. The proof that the majority of countries already have legally enshrined this obligation is compelling evidence of a growing consensus enough to encourage the multilateral fora to take swift and effective action to be proactive in providing a healthy and safe environment.
You can read the Special Rapporteur’s report here.
In Memory of an Important Activist, Alan Burns
Today, and for the duration of the COP 24 we will be holding Friend Alan Burns in the light. Alan passed away on the 11th of November whilst carrying out a pilgrimage from the Vatican to Katowice. More information about Alan is available on his blog. To hear about the pilgrims who have continued their walk, more information is available on the Facebook page.
We thank Liz for writing this post and sharing it with us.
“Many of you know that my husband Alan Burns has been in Europe for the past several months on a pilgrimage to raise awareness about climate change. He and a group of fellow activists were walking from Rome to Katowice Poland in time for the Climate Conference. I received news Sunday morning that Alan had died while the pilgrims were in Slovenia. Please hold Alan, his family, and his friends in the light as we process this transition, and do whatever is in your power to continue his work to avert the worst catastrophe this planet has faced. Alan was a kind soul and a tireless worker for peace, justice, and equality; he lived his life as he hoped others would, and I think died doing exactly what he wanted to be doing – helping the save the world.”
We are grateful to Alan for his life and his unwavering light given to the important issue of climate change which is also close to our own hearts.