Quakers look beyond the Paris climate talks

By agency reporter
November 30, 2015

Quakers want justice for those affected by climate change. The poorest are often the hardest hit by shifts in the climate. Globally they have less access to energy.

Led by their belief in equality, Quakers in Britain campaign for everyone to have access to affordable energy that does not harm the planet.

At the weekend, ahead of the Paris climate summit, Quakers joined thousands across the world on the People's March for Climate, Justice and Jobs to call for climate justice. On Sunday, Quakers in Britain attended an interfaith event, at Westminster Synagogue, supported by Christian Aid, CAFOD, Islamic Relief, MADE in Europe, World Jewish Relief and Oil Vay amongst many others

The international climate talks, running from 30 November to 11 December, known as COP 21, aim to adopt a legally binding and universal climate change agreement. Failure to reach agreement could escalate poverty, migration and conflict.

Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) have been building bridges between diverse groups of negotiators at the climate change talks. QUNO is also working to get human rights language into the draft of a new climate change agreement.

Quakers are looking at principles for a new economic order, based on Quaker values and are working with others to build a democratically controlled zero-carbon economy where all have access to affordable, clean energy.

Helen Drewery, General Secretary of Quaker Peace and Social Witness, said: “As Quakers we uphold those committed to negotiating a fair, ambitious and transparent deal in Paris. We see many challenges – not least ongoing dependence on fossil fuel-based energy and the fact that economic competitiveness (rather than climate science) still largely determines national negotiating positions. We will continue to peacefully advocate for climate justice and will work for transition to zero carbon economy."

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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