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

Quakers actively campaign for justice for those who have been unequally impacted by climate change. Young Quakers are taking part in Youth 4 Climate Strikes, and hundreds of Quakers are joining the nonviolent direct action group Extinction Rebellion.

On a government level, Quakers urgently call for climate policies that will reduce carbon emissions, and quickly move our economy away from fossil fuels.

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

    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 further climate breakdown. It also confirmed that keeping within this limit is possible, if governments enforce ambitious policies and invest in a green economy.

    The UK government's committee of independent advisors have said that the UK must put a 'net-zero' emissions target for 2050 in national law. Considering our climate emergency, many people feel the target should be achieved much sooner. This would end the UK's significant contribution to climate breakdown and lead other countries to do the same.

    'Net-zero' requires us to cut emissions as far as possible, and account for those that remain by removing them from our atmosphere – for example by reforesting Britain and restoring ecosystems.

    Averting climate breakdown requires the UK to make big changes to our economy. But in the process, people will gain access to green jobs, clean air and better services. But this requires bold policy change.

    Just as a start, the government must:

    • Set a zero-carbon target for new homes, and later extend this to existing homes.
    • Phase out fossil-fueled cars by 2030 and invest in sustainable transport.
    • Support onshore wind and solar power with appropriate subsidies and planning laws.
    • Set a net-zero emissions target for UK agriculture, back sustainable farming and commit to large-scale tree planting.

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

    Event: The Time is Now – a mass lobby of parliament

    On Wednesday 26 June, Quakers will be joining thousands of others to call on MPs to take bold action on climate change and to protect nature. We'll call on parliament to back a net-zero emissions target, and deliver a deal to protect the UK's precious ecosystems.

    We will gather at 1pm to meet our MPs in the streets around Parliament in Westminster. In the morning, Quakers will be part of interfaith climate workshops and talks at nearby St Martins in the Field and Church House. To find out more and sign up, contact Phil Wood at philipw@quaker.org.uk.

    Or, write to your MP:

    If you can't join us on the day, you can still write to or meet with your MP. Call on them to back a net-zero emissions target and ask them what they will do to support a just and rapid transition to a sustainable economy.

    • You can contact your MP via www.theyworkforyou.com.
    • Not sure what to say? Read the Quakers in Britain letter to Claire Perry, Minister for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy calling for the stronger government policies needed to reduce the impacts of climate change.
    • 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.

    Workshop: Quakers and climate justice – an introduction

    Worried about climate change but don't know what to do? This workshop is for you. This is a session for people who feel led to take action on the climate, but are unsure where to start.

    Perhaps you have made some changes to your life, but don't feel able to make more radical steps. This session suggests wearing an ever-harsher hair shirt isn't the answer, and looks at what can be done to bring about system change without being wrenched too far out of our individual comfort zones.

    It will touch on how QPSW's work on climate is rooted in the Quaker testimonies, explore what 'climate' and 'justice' have to do with one another, and point to some simple actions you can take.

    To book a workshop, email neweconomy@quaker.org.uk or call 020 7663 1071.

    Session plans can also be made available for groups who would like to run their own workshop.

    Workshop: Transforming our economy for climate justice

    The UK government says it is committed to cutting carbon emissions. Yet it also continues to back our continued dependence on fossil fuels.

    How can we transform our economy to work for us and not against us? And what does all this have to do with Quakers?

    This session looks at how our dominant economic system is driving climate breakdown, and invites us to imagine an economy where people, communities and ecosystems can flourish. Using examples of groups who are working for a just transition to a zero-carbon society, it offers an opportunity to discuss actions we can take.

    To book a workshop, email neweconomy@quaker.org.uk or call 020 7663 1071.

    Session plans can also be made available for groups who would like to run their own workshop.

    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