Quakers are working to build an energy and economic system that has equality, justice and sustainability at its heart.

Quakers campaign for justice for those who have been unequally impacted by climate change. We call for policies that will reduce carbon emissions, and support actions that challenge the current fossil fuel economy.

We think all people have the right to affordable, renewable energy. We believe there should be more equality in the way energy is owned and organised. And we want to sustain life over profit.

Climate justice

    Resource

    Climate policy briefing

    According to the IPCC, we have 12 years to prevent climate breakdown. Find out about the policies we need in this briefing, then write to your MP to make sure they are pushing for change.

    The climate policies we all need

    In October 2018, the UN released a groundbreaking report that said keeping global temperatures to 1.5 degrees C is essential in order avoid climate breakdown. It also said that keeping within this limit is possible with ambitious government policies and investments in a green economy.

    To play its part in this, the UK must put a 'net-zero' emissions target in national law. This would radically reduce our climate impact, and lead other countries to do the same.

    But actions speak louder than words. Despite promising pledges, the government's independent climate advisers say the UK is behind on meeting current emissions targets, let alone more ambitious ones. To protect people and the planet from climate breakdown, the UK government needs to move fast and show leadership.

    We're calling on the government to commit to 'net-zero' emissions by 2050. But to achieve this, it must commit to bold policy. As a start, we are calling on the government to commit to the following:

    • Buildings: reinstate a zero carbon standard for new homes, and extend it to all buildings by 2020.
    • Transport: speed up the phase-out of petrol and diesel cars and vans by bringing forward the deadline to do this from 2040 to 2030.
    • Power: ensure the cheapest low carbon power sources - onshore wind and solar – are supported by appropriate subsidies and planning rules so they can help cut carbon fast.
    • Land: Set a target in the new Agriculture Bill to secure net zero emissions from agriculture by 2050 at the latest, with interim targets and milestones.

    We're also calling on the government to urgently make clear how the UK will maintain and improve its climate policies outside of the European Union.

    Take action – back zero-carbon farming

    Sustainable farming and land use are key to averting climate change. Whether it's growing local, plant-based food, planting trees or ensuring that healthy soils can store carbon, sustainable farming can significantly reduce our climate impact.

    The government's Agriculture Bill is due to be voted on by MPs at the end of January. It outlines a new post-Brexit subsidy system to reward farmers and land managers for 'public goods' – including environmental services, public access to land or protecting natural heritage.

    However, in its current form, the Agriculture Bill contains no explicit policies or targets on emissions cuts.

    Caroline Lucas MP, Ed Miliband MP and Mary Creagh MP have tabled an amendment to the bill that would set a net-zero emissions target for UK agriculture by 2050 at the very latest. It would also oblige the government to set interim targets.

    Quakers in Britain are calling on the government to commit to net-zero emissions target, and include this in the Agriculture Bill. Please join us and call on your MP to back amendment NC 8 'Carbon emissions: net-zero and interim targets'.

    • You can contact your MP via www.theyworkforyou.com.
    • If you get a response, please email it to Chris Walker at chrisw@quaker.org.uk.
    • Alternatively, post a copy straight to Friends House - we're at 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ. This really helps our campaigning work.

    If you'd like to know more about the changes we are calling for, or for support with engaging with your MP, please contact Chris Walker at chrisw@quaker.org.uk or on 020 7663 1047.

    Further climate policy resources:

    Confront fossil fuel power

    We need to confront the powers that actively work against climate justice, namely the fossil fuel industry and economic systems reliant on fossil fuels, which put economic competitiveness ahead of ecological health.

    Ban fracking

    Quakers in Britain call for a ban on fracking and other forms of new and intensive fossil fuel extraction. The industry could seriously undermine the UK's ability to cut greenhouse gases and could harm local communities and ecosystems. Yet with backing from the UK government and investors, fracking companies are set to make vast profits from extracting oil and gas in the UK. Find out how you can take action on fracking.

    Divest from fossil fuels

    The fossil fuel industry needs many things to be able to extract fossil fuels and produce energy. Crucially it relies on money. Much of our money is bound up in continued fossil fuel extraction – via institutional investments, British government subsidies, or even our own pension funds.

    We have a lot of power to change this. Publicly moving money away from fossil fuels helps to reduce fossil fuel companies' social licence to operate by demonstrating our refusal to be complicit.

    Does your local or area meeting still invest in fossil fuels? What about the other institutions you may be part of, like your university or local council? Find out more about how to divest from fossil fuels.

    Build the alternative

    Many Quakers are engaged in exploring what an economy based on Quaker testimonies (and not dependent on fossil fuels) would look like, including how our economy could operate in balance with a healthy living planet. Find out more about our work on the new economy.

    Contact us

    Chris Walker
    Sustainability and Peace Programme Manager
    020 7663 1047
    chrisw@quaker.org.uk
    @EarthEconQuaker