We're more powerful when we work together.

That's why ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021, Quakers in Britain teamed up with a group of charities and campaigners under the banner 'Make Polluters Pay' to call for finance for communities experiencing climate breakdown. This issue of finance for 'loss and damage' has long been a sticking point in the UN negotiations – but at COP26, a new level of pressure from civil society made it seem that progress might be coming at last.

The Make Polluters Pay coalition campaign has continued to grow following COP26 and we now sit alongside 12 organisations in the steering group (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).

Quaker work on loss and damage is about placing justice and equality at the head of our climate action. We urgently need a new international fund for loss and damage. Communities who did nothing to contribute to the climate emergency are currently paying the price, while wealthy countries and fossil fuel corporations carry on polluting. It's high time polluters picked up the bill.

About the campaign

    What is loss and damage?

    Loss and damage caused by climate breakdown is a present reality for people around the world, and it is getting worse every year. Extreme weather events like Cyclone Idai, which killed more than 1,000 people, left 400,000 homeless and destroyed 700,000 hectares of crops when it struck Mozambique in 2019 demonstrate how the climate emergency is destroying lives, livelihoods and biodiversity for communities in the global majority.

    Despite being recognised in the Paris Agreement, there has been no progress on where money to pay for loss and damage should come from. It's a priority for countries most vulnerable to climate breakdown, and it's fundamental to climate justice. At COP26, countries representing 85% of the world's population put forward a proposal for a new loss and damage financing facility. This was rejected, but it's the closest we have ever come – and we must keep up the pressure.

    Whether you consider it solidarity, compensation, or reparations, we know hundreds of billions a year are needed – and that money must come from those who caused the crisis.

    What's the plan?

    Our coalition campaign is 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!

    You can see some of the actions we got up to in 2021 on our Make Polluters Pay Loss and Damage Awareness Day information page (offsite link). You can also go to our Make Polluters Pay website (offsite link) to subscribe to our mailing list, read our blogs and follow our social media to find out more about what we've done and what we have planned!

    How can I get involved?

    Sign our petition

    Raise your voice with us and urge Boris Johnson to support an international loss and damage fund (offsite link) to support communities hit by climate disaster. We'll be coordinating a creative action to hand this in so don't forget to opt-in to receive future updates.

    Hold a vigil

    Quakers have a long history of taking nonviolent action for positive social change. One of the most powerful actions in our toolkit is holding silent vigils. From the anti-fracking protests at Preston New Road to the anti-arms protests at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair, vigils play a key role in Quaker social action.

    We are calling on people of all faiths and none to hold a vigil for loss and damage. To help people organise a vigil, we've put together this short guide (PDF). We've also made these explainer placards and this vigil leaflet (PDF) to help communicate what your vigil is for.

    Featured blog

    Why we’re calling for polluters to pay for the damage they cause

    22 September 2021 by Olivia Hanks

    Olivia Hanks explains why finance for loss and damage is a key part of COP26 negotiations.