Sustainability

Join the global Quaker climate action movement

Sustainability, defined in the broadest sense, includes concerns around climate change, peace, depletion of natural resources, human rights and economic justice.

Friends worldwide are urgently concerned with the human impacts of climate change and the issue of sustainability in relation to our faith and the underlying spiritual imperative prompting us to take action, so that life on earth will continue.

This concern was galvanized in the Global Change work at the Dublin Triennial in 2007, which then led on to the Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice in 2012 and the Pisac Sustainability Minute which came out of the World Plenary Meeting in Peru in 2016.

Friends approved the Pisac Minute on Living Sustainably and Sustaining Life on Earth “in this effort for sustainability and mindful of the urgency of this work”, asking Friends and Yearly Meetings to take action to promote sustainability at all levels, including the global level.

FWCC has joined with other Quaker organisations and signed up to a shared statement on climate change that has been used at the UN climate negotiations.

Sustainability in action – we want to hear from you

Help us learn more about your yearly meeting and share your inspiring stories of ‘living sustainably and sustaining life on earth’.  Please get in touch with Susanna Mattingly, our Sustainability Communications Officer.

                                                            Peru 2016 logo

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Join the global Quaker climate action movement

Is it heavy? It ain't heavy; it's my world
Image: Erik Dries

Friends World Committee for Consultation is embarking on a project working with Friends worldwide to strengthen our environmental commitment and amplify our voice through a global Quaker sustainability movement. We strive to live in right relationship with all creation and live in a sustainable way on the earth.

Why are we doing this?

Climate change is a social justice problem. An equality problem. A poverty problem. A human rights problem. A community problem. It is also a solvable problem.

Friends all around the world are taking climate action, recognising that sustainability and care for the earth are integral to our spiritual faith and our testimonies of equality, peace, truth, integrity, simplicity and justice.

As a community, we can make a meaningful contribution to stabilising the climate. Lots of small changes will make a big difference. The time to act is now – not in fear, not through accusation, but with hope and love. Every action, however small or large, helps.

As expressed in the Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice, “we are called to be the salt that flavours and preserves, to be a light in the darkness of greed and destruction”.

Quakers are engaged in the growing interfaith movement joining with like-minded people of faith on sustainability.

What can we do?

There are plenty of things we can all do in our lives to make a difference. FWCC is posing a supportive challenge to the Quaker community to adopt sustainable living habits and thoughtful use of resources and stewardship of the earth. The focus should be on doing what you can, not what you can’t and as a community you need to choose which steps work for you.

FWCC can provide guidance and support to Friends, however you go about engaging with this movement. We know we need to take good care of ourselves in order to take good care of the world.

This is a reciprocal movement. We can all strengthen and amplify the Quaker sustainability movement in the following ways:

          • Tell your story. Help others understand the human impacts of climate change and how it affects you and inspire others to take action. Read and share Friends’ stories here. Get in contact to share your story here.
          • Campaign for change and lobby our leaders and politicians. Support Quaker organisations working in this area such as QUNO, and FCNL.
          • Partner with another meeting or church to support each other in taking part in this sustainability movement, strengthening ties with Friends across the world. Register your interest here.
          • Join or support groups which are raising awareness of the issues through direct action, locally or nationally, such as QEW.
          • Hold discussions on the underlying spiritual imperative to take action and make the world a better place and engage Friends from all traditions
          • Raise climate change up the agenda and make it a priority in your community by focusing attention on the issue.
          • Organise community events to break the silence around climate change and create a safe space to talk about it

For those Friends living in parts of the world where there is a need to reduce consumption, there are several impactful actions to consider taking as individuals or as communities:

            • Use low-carbon transport
            • Source your energy from a renewable energy provider
            • Eat a plant-based diet
            • Research how to invest your money sustainably e.g. divest from fossil fuels
            • Make adjustments to your home/meeting house/church to make the building more energy efficient
            • Recycle and re-use materials and reduce food waste

Download infographic: 6 impactful habits for reducing consumption (aimed predominantly at Global North lifestyles) here.

Not all of these actions will be appropriate for every Quaker community around the world but we ask meetings and churches to reflect and ask, without judgement or guilt, what could we do as a community to make a difference?

Whatever you choose to do, share them with us at the FWCC World Office by emailing Susanna Mattingly so that your actions are celebrated and shared to inspire others.

How can we do it?

There are many ways we can join in and support the sustainability movement. FWCC provides support for individuals, meetings and churches in the form of materials, networks, ideas and inspiration.

Please visit our resources page to download posters, case studies and other materials.