Areas of Work

Climate Change, Peace and Justice

QUNO demonstrates the relationship between climate change and the core Quaker concerns of peace and justice. We draw on our expertise and experience in other policy areas such as human rights, food, sustainability and peacebuilding in order to develop new perspectives on climate change impacts and responses.

QUNO’s work in this area evolved out of a concern for the effect of climate change on patterns of migration. QUNO currently sits on the Consultative Committee of the Nansen Initiative, a state-led process working toward a Protection Agenda for people displaced across national borders as a result of disasters and the effects of climate change. QUNO works to highlight the human rights implications of climate change at both the UNFCCC and the Human Rights Council (see the statement we delivered on human rights and the environment and our report on small-scale farmers, the right to food and climate change).

Climate change has been identified as a threat multiplier and an intensifier of conflicts over natural resources such as water.  We support QUNO’s work on Natural Resources, Conflict and Cooperation, which takes a conflict prevention and peacebuilding approach to natural resource management, encouraging dialogue, cooperation and the constructive handling of conflicts. 

Recent Timeline Events

July 2019

Webinar: Quakers Coming Together to Care for the Earth

In July, QUNO's Representative for Climate Change Lindsey Fielder Cook and Adrian Halverstadt, Director of Evangelical Friends Church - North America, were featured in a webinar with other Quakers to share and discuss a recent video, Quakers Coming Together to Care for the Earth.  which showcases Friends from across Quaker theological traditions in North America sharing their personal testimonies on environmental justice, earthcare and stewardship.

Throughout 2018, several Quakers came together via video conference calls and one face-to-face meeting to discuss what we as Quakers are called to do about the interlocking ecological issues affecting all of creation. Participants of this group include Friends across the Quaker spectrum, including those affiliated with Evangelical Friends of North America, Friends United Meeting, Friends General Conference, and other unaffiliated Friends. The group worked with Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), a Quaker organization with world headquarters in London that works to communicate between all parts of Quakerism, to produce the video.

This webinar explains how you can use this new video resource to support conversations about environmental justice, earthcare and stewardship in your own meeting or church.

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September 2017

QUNO attends 46th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Lindsey Fielder Cook

Under the Friends World Committee for Consultation, QUNO is now an accredited observer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This official observer status enables us to nominate authors and engage in the development of IPCC Reports, which provide decision makers worldwide with the most extensive collection of climate science research.

QUNO prioritizes inclusion of research on climate justice and sustainable behavior/economic systems in addressing the root causes of anthropogenic climate change. During the 46th Session of the IPCC, held in Montreal Canada from 6-10 September, QUNO encouraged research on the role of lifestyle/behavior/consumption change, sustainable economies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

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February 2017

Building trust at climate talks

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.

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