As our current economic system fuels inequality and climate breakdown, Quakers seek just responses to these intertwined crises.

Quakers are working with climate campaigners around the world to grasp the historical roots of these injustices, and create a fairer, sustainable world.

The wealth of the UK and other industrialised countries is built on the violent and racist exploitation of people and the earth. Today, our economy's dependence on fossil fuels and their extraction still hits poor people hardest.

This is unjust. Quakers are working within the principles of climate justice to set things right. Quakers in Britain supports that work.

About our work

    Resource

    Climate justice: a Quaker view leaflet

    A leaflet about the links between Quaker beliefs and climate justice. View online or download.

    Our campaign focus

    Making Polluters Pay

    Our current climate justice work focuses on supporting action and advocacy highlighting climate breakdown-induced loss and damage that communities around the world are already experiencing, as well as the urgent need for financing to support these communities.

    We are also working to push the UK government and financial institutions to stop supporting the fossil fuel industry and increase support for communities facing the worst impacts of climate breakdown.

    To ensure maximum impact for this advocacy work, Quakers in Britain are part of a number of climate coalitions, including the Climate Justice Coalition (formerly known as the COP26 Coalition) (offsite link), Make Polluters Pay campaign (offsite link), and the Faith for the Climate network (offsite link) and the Make COP Count group (offsite link).

    Our policy priorities

    As part of our campaign focus we have two climate finance policy priorities:

    1. Loss and damage

    While we must do all we can to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt our societies to cope with global heating, major climate disasters are already happening, and more will follow.

    The Paris Agreement recognises that funding is needed to support countries suffering climate-related 'loss and damage' – but very little progress has been made on finding that funding.

    We are working with faith groups and NGOs to call on the UK government to support efforts to identify new sources of finance for loss and damage.

    Alongside Stamp Out Poverty, Practical Action, Water Witness, Christian Aid, Tipping Point, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth Scotland, SCIAF, Islamic Relief, Save the Children and JCWI we also run the Make Polluters Pay campaign (offsite link) calling for a loss and damage fund paid for by the biggest polluters. We are busy working on plans for the coming months, which will include working with artists and finding ways to get loss and damage raised more often in Parliament. There will be lots of ways for everyone to get involved – so watch this space! Read more about our involvement with the campaign.

    2. Financing climate justice

    Tax breaks for oil and gas, bail-outs of fossil-fuel-dependent companies such as airlines, and a failure to reflect the true cost of pollution, keep us dependent on fossil fuel extraction.

    To resource this dependency, people are displaced from their lands and ecosystems are destroyed. Communities in Africa, South America, Asia and the Pacific, as well as indigenous peoples in North America, bear the brunt.

    Quakers in Britain are calling upon the UK government to end its financial support for fossil fuel extraction, including through subsidies, aid, and export finance.

    This public money should instead be used to help fund our 'fair share' (offsite link) of global climate action based on historical emissions and current capabilities.

    Our response to the climate crisis must recognise the extractive and ecocidal underpinnings of British colonial history and our neocolonial present.

    Our work in support of these priorities so far has included:

    • coordinating a letter from faith leaders to the Prime Minister, calling on him to end UK support for fossil fuels and pledge money for loss and damage;
    • raising the issue of loss and damage in a meeting with COP26 President Alok Sharma;
    • writing questions which have been asked in Parliament, including the first ever time the Prime Minister had been asked to respond to a question on loss and damage;
    • writing to the Scottish First Minister about COP26 priorities including loss and damage finance, contributing to a Stop Climate Chaos Scotland campaign which led to the government pledging £2m for loss and damage as part of the Climate Justice Fund;
    • speaking about loss and damage and fossil fuels at numerous events during COP26, including interfaith conversations and a panel event in the official COP26 venue.

    Take action!

    These are global problems. They are daunting. But by building relationships and projects at a local level, we can be part of a strong network that connects up with other strong networks around the world. This way, we can support each other and make concerted efforts to create deep and lasting international change.

    Join our new project 'Exploring Faith and Climate Justice'

    In July 2022 Quakers in Britain and Woodbrooke will be partnering to launch a 'year of learning and spiritual reflection' about climate justice. The year will be designed to support Quakers to develop a thorough understanding of climate justice, including the historical context, practical examples and how a justice-based approach differs from other approaches to climate action.

    As part of the year, there will be a series of booklets with activities exploring a number of topics that will help Quakers and anyone who is interested in our resources to understand key principles of climate justice and the historical, political and economic forces which shape the climate crisis. Find out more and access the booklets on our Exploring Faith and Climate Justice page.

    We will also be running regular online gatherings for Quakers and others interested to come together and embark upon the year of learning and spiritual reflection together. Those who sign up will have access to an online discussion forum and further resources, in addition to the booklets. Register to join the online course.

    Sign the Make Polluters Pay campaign petition

    As part of the Make Polluters Pay campaign, we're teaming up with charities and campaigners around the world to raise awareness about the urgent need for an international fund for loss and damage caused by climate breakdown.

    With the UN climate talks COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, we have a huge opportunity to influence what global leaders talk about. Sign our petition (offsite link) to help make our message about financing for loss and damage loud and clear to the UK Prime Minister.

    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.

    This includes putting into practice local economies that operate in balance with a healthy living planet. Find out more about our work on the new economy.

    Use Quaker climate justice resources

    Are you looking for interesting ways to learn more about climate justice? Quakers in Britain have put together a Quaker directory of 50 climate justice resources (PDF).

    Ranging from articles, books, documentaries, podcasts, plus films and games for children, there is something to suit every preference! Use these to learn as an individual, to study and enjoy them with your family, or to organise your own online reading group or film club.

    Live sustainably

    Quakers work together to make our lives low-carbon and sustainable, and support our local communities to do the same. Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre is where Quakers can find the educational resources that support a shift to sustainable living. Visit Woodbrooke's website for more information.

    Featured blog

    What is climate justice?

    26 May 2020 by Rebecca Woo

    What does justice have to do with climate campaigning? Rebecca Woo explains the connection, and how Quakers are taking action.

    Contact us

    Olivia Hanks

    020 7663 1037
    oliviah@quaker.org.uk