New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

NEYM 2018 Minute on Calculator Project

Dec 13, 2018

2018-36 Earthcare Ministry Report

Mary Bennett (Worcester) and Rebecca MacKenzie (Quaker City Unity) gave the report for the Earthcare Ministry Committee (EMC). See their written report on [page #].

At Sessions last year, we approved the following minute (2017-67):

“Earthcare Ministry clerk Ruah Swennerfelt offered the following statement as a follow-up from earlier in the Sessions:

The Earthcare Ministry Committee is not bringing back a request for NEYM to sign or endorse the Paris climate accord. It’s become clear we’re not ready at this time to consider that request. Instead we’re offering the following, which requires no action today.

At Sessions this year we reaffirmed the 2016 Climate Minute, indicating that we will, “pray, wait, and act with a focus and fearlessness appropriate to the urgency of the times.” The Earthcare Ministry Committee believes that setting concrete goals to reduce our emissions in line with a maximum 1.5°C global temperature rise (the aspirational goal of the Paris climate accord) would be helpful for our next steps. The committee will coordinate collecting carbon emission data as a basis for proposing a percentage emissions reduction goal for the Yearly Meeting. That proposal will come back to Sessions in 2018 for consideration.”

EMC has faithfully carried out this charge and now brings us the following proposal:

New England Yearly Meeting gathered in Annual Sessions at Castleton University, August 2018, approved the following.

We have minuted that “we will … act with a focus and fearless appropriate to the urgency of the time.” We must do more than symbolic actions. As a blessed community we will act to reduce our contribution to climate dysregulation. To do this, we must be assessing our current impact and taking concrete steps to reduce this.

All NEYM members and constituent meetings are encouraged to assess their carbon emissions using the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative’s carbon calculator. This will create a baseline assessment of NEYM’s carbon footprint.

Multiple tablets are available as a resource to help individuals and meetings perform this assessment. These baseline assessments should be completed by December 20, 2018.

After performing this baseline assessment, individuals and meetings are asked to commit to a 10% carbon emissions reduction over a one-year period ending on December 20, 2019. The recommended carbon calculator also contains a long list of possible actions to reduce a carbon footprint. Of paramount importance, Friends are asked to prayerfully engage in these suggested carbon-reducing actions as led to either begin or continue the journey toward creating ecological and social justice for all of God’s creation, living into the Beloved Community.

Marginalized communities are often disproportionately impacted by global climate change. Meetings are further encouraged to seek ways of helping our neighbors who may not have the resources we do to also act to reduce their carbon footprint.

EMC is prepared to serve as a resource for meetings to complete the baseline assessment and to offer information about how to perform an energy audit. Please contact Stephen Gates at [email protected](link sends e-mail), or visit climatecalculator.org/ClimateCalculator.html.  

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]