Faith and science communities met on the 30th and 31st January, as Quakers set out to build communication and support between them. Quakers in Britain and QUNO held two interfaith luncheons on these days with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Quakers are motivated by a moral duty to cherish Creation for future generations and to speak out against climate injustice that causes huge inequalities across the world. They have a long history of quiet diplomacy work with diverse groups to encourage in-depth discussion in which understanding may grow. These meetings at Friends House in London were informal and off-the-record.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said: “We are aware that humanity has a short window of time to help ensure against catastrophic climate change. We observe that current political will is not sufficient to address the root causes of climate change caused by human activities, effectively, urgently and fairly. However, we have faith that change is possible.”
QUNO has observer status at both the IPCC and the climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Jonathan Woolley, QUNO Geneva Director, said, “While technical fixes may address some symptoms, they may not address human behaviours at the root cause of climate change, behaviours often exacerbated by economic and political priorities. Faith communities offer an empowering voice of hope over fear, of compassion over indifference, and urgent and fair action as a moral obligation.”
For further perspective, one participant has written a blog post about her experience.