Quakers, Climate Change and a Sustainable World
In line with our Testimonies, the Quaker Community is committed to preventing further climate change due to human activity and hopefully to reversing the damage that has already been done by it. Our vision is to restore the health of our planet so that it is a safe home for all life. To that end we take action as Quakers and in alliance with other faith and community groups .
Quakers are committed to working for a peaceable and whole Earth and the right of sharing with all peoples. We see it as our moral and ethical duty to safeguard the Earth and its resources for future generations.
Towards a Sustainable Use of the Planet’s Resources
We are deeply concerned about the connection between how we live and its effects on the world’s limited resources. As such we are called to work together to build low-carbon, sustainable communities We, therefore, call on our leaders at all levels of decision-making to make the radical decisions needed to create a fair, sufficient and effective international climate change agreement.
As Quakers, we understand that human activities have an impact on climate change. This fact presents us this challenge: how to live sustainably and justly on this Earth. We recognize that the current rise of greenhouse gas emissions is leading to an unprecedented rate of increase in global average surface temperature to the extreme detriment to the Earth’s ecosystems and species, including human beings.
QUAKERS AND SUSTAINABILITY
We, however, believe that climate change is not inevitable if we choose to act now. Quakers across the world are actively working to achieve that end.
A Healthy Planet — The Right of All, Not Just a Few
We understand that it is the poorest and most vulnerable peoples of the world that suffer the most because of our collective disregard for the impact of climate change on their lives. We see it therefore as a matter of conscience to take all responsible action possible to halt this trend.
We also see the connection between climate change and global economic injustice and the unprecedented levels of consumption in the developed world, which assumes that there are unlimited natural resources to support such consumption. We particularly note that:
- Greenhouse gas emissions are created by fossil fuel combustion.
- Our increasing population continues to pursue fossil fuel-dependent economic growth.
- The Earth holds more fossil fuel reserves than are safe to burn, and that the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we are to prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change.
- Human societies continue to investment in, and subsidize fossil fuel extraction.
Peace & Well-being Over Profit
We wish to see a world community that prioritizes the well-being and thriving of all people over profit and a peaceful world where all people have a right of access to fulfilling employment, clean air and water, renewable energy. We all have the right to live in healthy communities and ecosystems. It is the right of all, not just the few.
Quakers, as members of this beautiful human family, seek meaningful commitments from our leaders and ourselves, to address climate change for our shared future, the Earth and all species, and the generations to come. We see this Earth as a stunning gift that supports life. It is our only home. Let us care for it together.
(The above was adapted from the Quaker Earthcare Statement available on www.quakerearthcare.org)
COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement
Australian Quakers participated in the COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement. In part the Statement reads:
“We all desire for a safer future, free from climate change. Confronting this crisis is the great moral imperative of our time. It requires urgent, transformative action to slow (and hopefully reverse) the acceleration of global warming that is now underway. People of faith and goodwill have an important role to play in showing the way forward on this moral imperative. Faiths also play an important role in as we grieve our losses and practice hope. Together, we can make a difference!”