New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

Facing the Challenge of Climate Change--A shared statement by Quaker groups

Jan 29, 2015

Dear Friends worldwide,

The Statement below was developed by Quaker Earthcare Witness, the Quaker United Nations Office, and Friends Committee on National Legislation for their joint presence at events during the UN Climate Summit in September 2014.

A number of fellow Quaker organizations wished to add their name, including FWCC which sent the Statement out to Quaker communities worldwide. As a result we continue to receive signatures, which we add to the Statement, uploading the most recent versions onto the QEW and QUNO websites.

Three concerns have arisen in this process. Some meetings have asked us to give the Statement longer life by making it non-date specific, so that it can continue to be seen as relevant. Others encouraged language that was less anthropocentric. Still others felt that to be truthful we should more strongly acknowledge the grave dangers we face from climate change. We have attempted to do this, while holding to the core message that Quaker organizations and Meetings have already upheld and signed.

If you wish to add your Meeting to this Statement, please contact Lindsey Cook as suggested at the end of the Statement. If you do not wish to sign, but wish to use this material as a base for a Meeting specific Statement, you are most welcome, but please take off the signatures.

In peace and with gratitude,

QEW, QUNO and FCNL

August 2015

 

Facing the Challenge of Climate Change--
A shared statement by Quaker groups

January 2015

“It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the Creation of it. For how could [they] find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part of it?” --William Penn, 1693

As Quakers, we are called to work for the peaceable Kingdom of God on the whole Earth, in right sharing with all peoples. (Kabarak Call to Peace and Eco-Justice, 2012, p.1) We recognize a moral duty to cherish Creation for future generations.

We call on our leaders to make the radical decisions needed to create a fair, sufficient and effective international climate change agreement.

As Quakers, we understand anthropogenic climate change (climate change due to human activities) to be a symptom of a greater 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 of extreme detriment to the Earth’s ecosystems and species, including human beings.
  • We recognize that catastrophic global climate change is not inevitable if we choose to act urgently.
  • We recognize a personal and collective responsibility to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable peoples now, and all our future generations, do not suffer as a consequence of our actions. We see this as a call to conscience.
  • We recognize the connections between climate change and global economic injustice as well as unprecedented levels of consumption, and question assumptions of unlimited material growth on a planet with limited natural resources.
  • We recognize that most greenhouse gas emissions are created by fossil fuel combustion. We recognize that our increasing population continues to pursue fossil fuel-dependent economic growth. We recognize that 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. We therefore question profoundly the continued investment in, and subsidizing of, fossil fuel extraction.

We seek to nurture a global human society that prioritizes the well-being of people over profit, and lives in right relationship with our Earth; a peaceful world with fulfilling employment, clean air and water, renewable energy, and healthy thriving communities and ecosystems.

As members of this beautiful human family, we 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.

Quakers in Ghana
Quakers in Britain
Living Witness, UK
EcoQuakers Ireland
Quakers in Australia
Quakers in Denmark
Norway Yearly Meeting
Quaker Service Australia
Canadian Yearly Meeting
Netherlands Yearly Meeting
Pacific Yearly Meeting, USA
Miami Friends Meeting, USA
Quaker Institute for the Future
Northern Yearly Meeting, USA
Memphis Friends Meeting, USA
New York Yearly Meeting, USA
Storrs Friends Meeting, CT, USA
Quaker Concern for Animals, UK
York Monthly Meeting, PA, USA
Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW)
Newtown Monthly Meeting, USA
Croton Valley Meeting, NY, USA
Valley Friends Meeting, VA, USA
Quakers in Aotearoa New Zealand
FWCC- Asia West Pacific Section
Cookeville Monthly Meeting, USA
Eugene Friends Meeting, OR, USA
Oak Park Friends Meeting, IL, USA
New England Yearly Meeting, USA
Winnipeg Monthly Meeting, Canada
Lafayette Friends Meeting, IN, USA
Princeton Friends Meeting, NJ, USA
Nashville Friends Meeting, TN, USA
Trenton Meeting of Friends, NJ, USA
Honolulu Monthly Meeting, HI, USA
Palo Alto Friends Meeting, CA, USA
Abingdon Friends Meeting, VA, USA
Baltimore Yearly Meeting, MD, USA
Frederick Friends Meeting, MD, USA
Humboldt Friends Meeting, CA, USA
Eau Claire Friends Meeting, WI, USA
Santa Fe Monthly Meeting, NM, USA
Rochester Friends Meeting, MN, USA
Gettysburg Friends Meeting, PA, USA
Westtown Monthly Meeting, PN, USA
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, UK
Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, UK
Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)
Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting, OH, USA
Sacramento Friends Meeting, CA, USA
Twin Cities Friends Meeting, MN, USA
Gunpowder Friends Meeting, MD, USA
Homewood Friends Meeting, MD, USA
Chena Ridge Friends Meeting, AK, USA
Maury River Friends Meeting, VA, USA
Salmon Bay Friends Meeting, WA, USA
Belgium & Luxembourg Yearly Meeting
FWCC - Europe and Middle East Section
Prospect Hill Friends Meeting, MN, USA
Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting, MD, USA
Northampton Friends Meeting, MA, USA
Charlottesville Friends Meeting, VA, USA
Yellow Springs Friends Meeting, OH, USA
Whidbey Island Friends Meeting, WA, USA
Delta Monthly Meeting, Stockton, CA, USA
Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC)
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)
Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting, CA, USA
Société Religieuse des Amis (Quakers), France
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC)
Goose Creek Monthly Meeting of Friends, VA, USA 
South Central Yearly Meeting (TX, OK, AR, LA), USA

Please contact Lindsey Cook at [email protected] if you need more information, or wish to add your Quaker group.

Latest signature update: October 2015

[To see an updated list of sign-ons, as well as other developments related to this statement, go to the website of Quaker Earthcare Witness http://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/dec-2014-facing-challenge-climate-change-shared-statement-quaker-groups>.]

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]