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Speaking out

Speaking out on sustainability

As part of our commitment to becoming a low-carbon, sustainable community, Quakers have been speaking out about how environmental and economic injustices challenge our testimony.

QPSW is working with Friends across the country to call for political change for sustainability. QPSW can help meetings explore the sustainability crisis and find focuses for action. In 2013, we’re helping Friends find out and speak out in particular about the following issues.

Quakers for a green economy - 2012 demo
London Quakers calling for government support for the green economy

Quakers to disinvest from fossil fuels

In October, Quakers in Britain took steps to disinvest from companies engaged in extracting fossil fuels. The decision was taken by their Investment Committee, under responsibilities devolved by the Trustees.

QPSW’s partner Operation Noah (offsite link - new window) is calling on churches in the UK to disinvest from fossil fuels companies in its ‘Bright Now’ campaign. This Autumn, Operation Noah supported the Fossil Free Europe tour (offsite link - new window),  delivered in partnership with 350.org and People & Planet, which travelled across the country to inspire and  mobilise diverse groups to pressure institutions to disinvest from fossil fuels.

Ending fossil fuels dependency: A briefing

Quaker Peace & Social Witness is working with and on behalf of Friends to challenge dependency on fossil fuels in the UK. To achieve this we need to create pressure for change to government policies and our economy. You can find out more about fossil fuel dependency and about how the UK can build a more just and sustainable energy economy by reading QPSW’s new briefing: Ending Fossil Fuels Dependency [PDF - new window]

For hard copies of the briefing (including large print version) please contact Sunniva Taylor, Sustainability & Peace programme manager: 020 7663 1047.

Take action on the tar sands

Oil extraction in the Canadian tar sands has been described as the most carbon-intensive and environmentally destructive industrial project in history. Crude oil is extracted through large open strip mines and by forcing high volumes of water and chemicals through the Earth. Oil companies have been granted permission to extract from 84,000 km² of Alberta, damaging ecosystems and threatening the rights, health and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples and other communities in the process.

This year, the European Union has the opportunity to block the import of tar sands fuel into Europe, posing a key challenge to the expansion of the tar sands industry. Quaker Peace and Social Witness is working with others to challenge UK support for the tar sands industry, and block tar sands fuel from Europe. Find out how you can get involved with our ‘Take action on the tar sands’ briefing.


Open cast tar sands aerial view. Credit Kris Krug / CC
Open cast tar sands aerial view. Credit Kris Krug / CC

 

Or email your MP and ask them to keep tar sands out of Europe using this online tool.

Please check back soon for updates, or sign up to our Earth and Economy email updates.

For more information about the tar sands, and how you and your meeting can take action, contact Chris Walker, Sustainability & Peace Programme Coordinator, on 020 7663 1009.

Taking action for a frack-free UK

This summer Friends joined protests at the village of Balcombe in West Sussex to resist the potential operations of company Cuadrilla to ‘frack’ for gas. Find out more about fracking, Friends’ involvement in the protests, and how to take action here.

Energy Bill

In 2012 and 2013, Quakers have been working with other churches to call on the UK Government to commit to building a sustainable and just power system as it debates and establishes the Energy Bill. The bill could determine for decades to come how the UK regulates, generates and uses electricity. Quakers in Britain are calling for action to cut carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and make energy affordable for all.

For more information please contact Chris Walker, or telephone 020 7663 1009.

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

QPSW is a member of Stop Climate Chaos, a national coalition of organisations calling for urgent climate action by government. The coalition’s combined supporter base of more than 11 million people spans over 100 organisations, from environment and development charities to unions, and faith, community and women's groups.

The Robin Hood Tax

Quaker Peace & Social Witness is one of over 100 organisations backing the Robin Hood Tax Campaign.

The proposed RHT, (which is, more technically, referred to as a Financial Transaction Levy (FTL), would take the form of a 0.05% levy (50p in every £1000), applied internationally on a range of financial transactions such as the buying and selling of currencies, bonds and derivatives. The money raised would be divided with 50% being available for government use in the country of collection and 50% divided equally between climate change adaptation in developing and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Supporters claim that it could raise as much as $400 billion per year.