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Human Impacts of Climate Change

January 2024

QUNO's Engagement at the 60th Session of the IPCC

QUNO’s Human Impact of Climate Change programme, speaking on behalf of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, participated in the 60th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Istanbul, Turkey. 

At this session, the panel was tasked with crucial decisions on IPCC’s finances and its work for the 7th Assessment Cycle. QUNO submitted three interventions: advocating for the need to focus on the transformation of root causes rather than feeding unhealthy reliance on fossil fuels through research on geo-engineering; for research that upholds the rights and knowledge of Indigenous peoples; and the inclusion of military emissions in IPCC modeling and greenhouse gas emissions reporting. 

QUNO’s specific interventions and a debrief analysis on the negotiations and results of the 60th Session are available for download.

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January 2024

QUNO COP28 Resources and Analysis

QUNO's Human Impacts of Climate Change Programme attended the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai in November and December 2023. At COP28, the main challenges included delivery of an urgent, equitable and science based Global Stocktake, strengthening on just transition and mitigation efforts, and appropriate financing for adaptation and loss and damage. Details of our advocacy efforts can be found here

QUNO's Representative on Climate Change Lindsey Fielder Cook provides an analysis on COP28, highlighting how while COP28 broke certain silences around fossil fuels and blocked efforts to pass carbon trading frameworks, COP28 had its disappointments as climate finance and greenhouse gas emission reductions remain far below the historical and ethical responsibility of developed countries. The article originally published in The Friend is attached as well as two blog posts for Quakers in Britain.

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November 2023

A Government Official’s Toolkit: Inspiring Urgent, Healthy, and Equitable Climate Action - 2024 Edition

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva published an updated version ‘A Government Official’s Toolkit: Inspiring Urgent, Healthy, and Equitable Climate Action,’ which is available in English, Arabic, and Spanish. This publication is aimed at enhancing understanding and communication of climate change.

‘A Government Official’s Toolkit: Inspiring Urgent, Real, and Equitable Climate Action’ has been updated with the most recent scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (AR6). This report was compiled for just over seven years and involved hundreds of scientists worldwide.

The IPCC informs governments on what is happening, why, and what people can do to avert catastrophic climate change. 

QUNO’s updated ‘A Government Official’s Toolkit’ aims to empower policymakers and climate advocates with the latest IPCC findings on root causes and urgent, feasible, and near-term options that are already available at scale to address climate change and improve well-being and planetary health. QUNO believes that everyone should have easy access to the science presented to our governments.

This publication is accessible online and via a print-at-home version, which can be used for personal distribution and campaigning.

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November 2023

How to be a Hero for All Our Children - 2024 Edition

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva published an updated version of ‘How to be a Hero for All Our Children,’ which is available in English, Arabic, and Spanish. It aims to connect people with the most recent climate science and suggests personal actions and questions for politicians.

‘How to be a Hero for All Our Children’ has been updated with the most recent climate scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (AR6). This report was compiled over seven years and involved hundreds of scientists worldwide.  

The updated ‘How to be a Hero for All Our Children’ is written for a wide audience, whether already active or new to climate concerns. It includes categories such as “What we eat”, “How we grow and sell food”, and “How we use and source energy.” This publication is meant to aid in our collective empowerment to transform the root causes driving planetary crisis. 

This publication is accessible online and via a print-at-home version which can be used for personal distribution and campaigning.

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November 2023

QUNO's Submission to the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body

QUNO, on behalf of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), offered this submission in response to a call for input the Article 6.4 Supervisory Board on how to meaningfully engage with Indigenous peoples and local communities. This submission calls for the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body to ground meangingful engagement with Indigenous peoples and local communities in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 Summary findings, approved by States in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

The Article 6.4 Supervisory Body is tasked with supervising and operationalizing the carbon crediting mechanism that was established by Article 6.4 of the UN Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change which encourages global action to help humanity and nature avert catastrophic temperature rise due to human activities. 

FWCC is an accredited observer of both the UNFCCC and IPCC, as well as an expert reviewer of IPCC Reports. In addition to FWCC expertise, the submission collated findings directly referenced from the IPCC AR6 Reports. We hope that this collation will help guide the Supervisory Board to ground its work in the best available scientific research, strengthening efforts to establish meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. This is critical to avert exacerbating existing structural inequities, especially when considering land-based carbon credits in areas of Indigenous land tenure or where land tenure is insecure. This submission highlights IPCC findings that not only emphasize the risks associated with failing to engage meaningfully with Indigenous Peoples and local communities but also offer approaches to minimize such risks through monitoring and reporting; capacity-building; or incorporating Indigenous knowledges and human rights-based approaches

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September 2023

QUNO's Submissions to the Global Stocktake (GST)

As the United Nations-led Global Stocktake is being finalised, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) has offered two submissions to this assessment of international action on climate change.

QUNO’s submission was made on behalf of the Quaker organisation, Friends World Committee for Consultation, which it represents at the United Nations (UN).

QUNO also joined 25 international organisations, as part of the Human Rights & Climate Change Working Group, make a submission to highlight the importance of “integrating human rights into the Global Stocktake”. It is available for download here.

The Global Stocktake is a periodic review and the first one is meant to be released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) at the end of 2023. Its primary objectives are to assess individual countries’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to renewable energy sources. It is aimed at keeping countries accountable on climate action. The Global Stocktake was established under the UN Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change which encourages global action to help humanity and nature avert catastrophic temperature rise due to human activities. Numerous countries have voluntarily signed this agreement.

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June 2023

New Climate Publication - A Government Official's Toolkit

QUNO has just published the most recent version of A Government Official’s Toolkit: Inspiring Urgent, Real, and Equitable climate action. The 2023 Toolkit highlights the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Synthesis Report. It is a useful guide for both policy makers and climate activists.

It presents 19 categories referencing the latest scientific findings of the IPCC, focused on “What is happening, Why, and the urgent, feasible, and equitable near-term options that are already available at scale to address climate change and improve human well-being and planetary health.”  The IPCC’s message is clear: “climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health.”

This update is written to support government officials – at local, regional, and national levels – who are concerned about the impacts of climate change on their citizens, country, and the planet. It offers concise excerpts to help readers engage with different concerns through a science based perspective to improve urgent, real, feasible near term actions.

Included in the 19 covered topics are: “The Root Causes;” “The Consequences of Our Human Activities – Hurting People and the Planet;” “Urgent Action to Keep Global Warming to a Safer Temperature Rise Limit;” “Averting Suffering, Death, Loss and Damage,” “Climate Action that is Real, Transformative, Feasible, and Available at Scale,” and “Empowering People in an Era of Climate Change.”

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June 2023

Audience reflections from "Truthful engagement in real, effective and ethical climate action for an ambitious Global Stocktake" side event at SB58

QUNO’s team at the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations (SB58) in Bonn (June 5 – June 15) was the Representative for the Human Impacts of Climate Change (HICC), Lindsey Fielder Cook, and HICC programme assistant Alana M Carlson. 

QUNO’s interactive side event was titled “Truthful engagement in real, effective and ethical climate action for an ambitious Global Stocktake,” and included panelists from the negotiation, research, activist, community organizer and legal experience. The event was led by QUNO and the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO), with co-hosts from Britain Yearly, Quaker Earthcare Witness, and the Friends World Committee for Consultation.  The side event can be watched here.

See the below word collage to review the reflections shared by audience members.

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May 2023

Fair Sources of Finance for a New Loss and Damage Funding Arrangement

Last November, States that took part in COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh agreed to pass a new funding arrangement for responding to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change. Loss and damage (L&D) refers to the monetary and non-monetary losses and damages that people have experienced and will experience due to sudden and slow-onset events. Economic, or tangible, L&D includes the loss of property and livelihood, changes in labor and agricultural productivity, cost of medical treatments associated with climatic events, and so forth. Non-economic, or intangible, L&D includes but is not limited to the mental health impacts, loss of ecosystems, and loss of culture (places, artifacts, language, etc.) from climate change.

People who are most affected by and vulnerable to further L&D have contributed the least to the climate crisis. Therefore, is it morally right that those who are most responsible for the climate crisis should finance the new funding arrangement for L&D. Taking up the need to address L&D in an ethical manner, the Human Impacts of Climate Change programme published this month a new briefing paper on “Fair Sources of Finance for a New Loss and Damage Funding Arrangement.” The options offered in the paper are meant to present policy makers with feasible and fair sources of finance for funding the new L&D arrangement without taking money away from needed action into climate change mitigation and adaptation. Grounded in principles like polluter pays, historic responsibility, and needs based, the options center redressing fossil fuel harm, exploring existing financial instruments, and supporting a more just and equitable world. 

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March 2023

QUNO Review 2023

2023 is an opportunity for us to celebrate 75 years of Quaker peace and justice work at the UN. Read our newest QUNO Review to learn more about the work of our New York and Geneva offices during this past year, and to learn about the work ahead.

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February 2023

Respecting, promoting, and protecting human rights in climate action through the Global Stocktake

The Global Stocktake (GST) is used to monitor the implementation and evaluate the collective progress made in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The FWCC has signed a joint submission on views on the approach to the consideration of output components of the GST. Read the submission to learn about the human rights outcomes that civil society organizations are calling for.

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January 2023

QUNO Briefing Paper for the Climate Negotiations under the UNFCCC: The Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform

Quakers support Indigenous peoples’ rights, based on our commitment to peace and justice. We recognise the historical and ongoing injustice faced by Indigenous peoples and the direct role historically played by Quakers in the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Today, Quaker support for Indigenous peoples in their struggles for justice has taken form at both the community, national and international level, including long-standing support to establish the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Over the years, QUNO has backed efforts to secure and strengthen the rights of Indigenous peoples, predominantly through supporting the work of the Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC). In the context of the climate negotiations, QUNO’s Human Impacts of Climate Change programme advocates for human rights-based, urgent and ambitious climate action and raises up the voices of those most marginalized and vulnerable. We have been observers to the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform since its first meeting in 2018.

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January 2023

QUNO Two-Sider: The Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions

The 2016 Paris Agreement is an international agreement on climate change binding every country that has signed to act on the climate response. Countries are required to outline their climate actions through “Nationally Determined Contributions,” with developed countries leading on mitigation and finance. This 2-sider explains what the Paris Agreement is and how to get involved in
making sure that countries are responding to it. 

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January 2023

QUNO Two-Sider: International Environmental Law

International environmental law is central to climate action. For example, the 2015 Paris Agreement, is a universal climate change agreement through which both developing and developed countries work together on climate mitigation and adaptation. This 2-sider offers an overview of some of the key agreements and sources of international environmental law that can benefit local and national climate action efforts.

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January 2023

QUNO Two-Sider: Inspiring Actions to Create New Laws on Climate Change

The climate negotiations under the UNFCCC are the main form of international climate action. Yet, there are many international and local initiatives outside of multilateral negotiations that push forward ambition and creativity on climate action. This 2-sider features a couple of these projects, offering insight into actions being taken below or beyond the state level by both state and non-state actors.

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January 2023

QUNO Two-Sider: Human Rights-Based Approaches to Climate Action

Incorporating human rights into climate policies and actions is known as a human rights-based approach. Human rights-based approaches ensure public inclusion and promote fairness, leading to more coherent, legitimate and sustainable policy outcomes. Whilst some countries resist human rights, human rights-based approaches ensure that climate action is approached as both a technical effort to cut emissions and as an effort to address human rights and social inequality. This 2-sider offers a brief introduction to the topic alongside inspiring examples from all over the world of what is being done to protect people and planet.

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January 2023

QUNO Two-Sider: Climate Change & the Human Rights System

The different organizations and committees that make up the international human rights system work to promote and protect what individuals and communities need to be safe and well. This 2-sider explores how climate change is addressed within the human rights framework and how to get involved in advocating for climate action that addresses human rights and social inequality.

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December 2022

The "Implementation COP" in a growing climate of accountability: A COP27 Reflection

Human Impacts of Climate Change Representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook reflects on the outcomes of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

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November 2022

COP27 QUNO Statement to the Global Stocktake Technical Dialogue on the Importance of Holistic and Integrated Approaches to International Climate Cooperation

ON 10 November 2022, QUNO Human Impacts of Climate Change representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook, spoke on an expert panel to over 60 country negotiators and civil society at the Global Stocktake Technical Dialogue on international cooperation for holistic and integrated approaches to addressing the climate crisis. Lindsey began by asking the negotiators and civil society to engage from both the head and heart before speaking on what holistic and integrated approaches mean, and then celebrating several recent examples of international cooperation which represent such approaches. Afterwards, Lindsey reflected on holistic and integrated approaches that can dramatically scale up climate action but need greater international cooperation that the Global Stocktake engagement can signal. Several such approaches included rights-based approaches, the importance of sustainable and just economic systems, as well as what real human security, and how the GST can embrace language of responsibility. 

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