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

November 2019

Creating a Future for All: Climate Justice and Peacebuilding

On November 6th, QUNO co-organized an event with the Graduate Institute's Environmental Committee and the Interparliamentary Union for Geneva Peace Week, which focused on the links between peacebuilding and climate change. The well-attended panel explored integrating gender into climate-resilient peacebuilding, international linkages, and the necessity of public participation in all aspects of peacebuilding and climate change. Please find the full summary and Lindsey Fielder Cook (QUNO Representative Human Impacts of Climate Change)'s remarks below.

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September 2019

IPCC Report on the Ocean and Cryopshere

QUNO, under the Friends World Committee for Consultation, is the only faith-based organization accredited as an observer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which collates the most recent climate science findings to advise all countries. While government representatives cannot change the underlying scientific text in the reports, they can negotiate language in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), so long as the integrity of the findings is not affected. From the 19th to the 24th of September states gathered in Monaco to discuss a special report which focused on the state of the ocean and the cryosphere, which refers to places on earth where water is in solid form such as glaciers, permafrost, and ice sheets. This report was particularly significant as it explicitly discussed some of the processes already occurring due to climate change, such as coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and glacial melting, alongside future projections of further change.

Lindsey Fielder Cook, QUNO’s representative for the Human Impacts of Climate Change programme, made a number of interventions concerning adaptation limits, human impacts and permafrost melting, and worked with negotiators to ensure the rights language of public participation in climate policy was included.  This report contains significant urgency for it is speaking to what many are already experiencing, particularly those most vulnerable such as the inhabitants of Small Island Developing States and indigenous Arctic communities. The report highlighted the difference between urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – manageable change – and continuing with insufficient action – unimaginable and unmanageable change to glaciers,  biodiversity and marine life, and the ability of  access to drinking water for billions of people. the report urges a urgent international action.

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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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