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Earthcare

Image: Julie Webb

COP 26

In the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, it is critical for Australia to play its part in global action to address climate change. Churches across the world have been vocal advocates for climate justice to protect lives and ensure a sustainable future for our common home.

Quakers around Australia participated in #Faiths4Climate actions in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Actions in Hobart were postponed, but will be held in the coming weeks. Read more here. 

Australian Quakers sign on to COP26 Open Letter: COP26 must deliver on Loss & Damage Finance - read more here.

Australian Quakers sign on to The Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration for COP26 - read more here.

Earthcare Statements

At Yearly Meeting 2007, Quakers took a first step towards outlining an Australian Quaker commitment to 'walking softly over the Earth'. This was further discussed at Standing Committee in July 2007, and the authors were asked to bring a Statement on Earthcare which was accepted at Yearly Meeting 2008, as a statement of a Quaker commitment to caring for the Earth.

In 2019 the Australian Quaker Earthcare Committee issued the Quaker Earthcare Climate Emergency and Species Extinction Epistle.

In 2021, Australia Yearly Meeting established a Climate Emergency and Species Extinction Working Group. This Working Group builds on the work and spirit-led influences of our concern for Earthcare, to design, develop and drive a national Australian Friends’ action plan on climate emergency and species extinction. You can read more about this Working Group here.

Public Statements and Letters of Concern

Australian Quakers write to politicians expressing their concern for Earthcare and the need for Government action and policies. Read our most recent statements below, or follow this link for public statements from previous years

Military emissions must be included in greenhouse gas reduction standards - September 2021

Australian Quakers, in unity with their witness to peace and earthcare, have added their support to a petition addressed to the COP26 which meets in Glasgow, November 2021. The petition urges all nations to include all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by the military into global greenhouse gas reduction standards.

According to the UN Secretary General António Guterres, the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "is a code red for humanity". Although almost every nation on Earth signed up to the goals of the Paris climate agreement in 2015, reporting on annual GHG emissions by nations is voluntary and often incomplete.

There must be no more exception for military pollution. The COP26 meeting is an opportunity to address this exception and strengthen the basis for addressing urgent action on climate change.

Read the full Public Statement here.

Australia's contribution to reducing global greenhouse gas emission - June 2021

Australian Quakers have written to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to express deep concern at Australia’s official - but inadequate - Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.

"Australia could be a pioneer in these industries and could do away with our polluting industries at a record rate. We could set a global example of how to avoid adding to the greenhouse gases and climate change. 'Jobs and growth in renewables' should be Australia’s motto.

We pray that the approach of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow this November will prove an opportunity for turning over a new leaf in Australian climate policy. It can be expected that the issue of fairness will loom large at Glasgow, and we trust that Australia’s traditionally prominent role in forging international agreements will find our representatives well-placed in this regard."

Read the full letter here.

Backhouse Lectures Related to Earthcare

2022 Lecture - Creating hope: Working for justice in catastrophic times presented by Yarrow Goodley looks at the critical issue of climate justice – at how our responses to the climate emergency have the potential for great suffering, as well as great redemption. Video available here.

2011 Lecture  - A demanding and uncertain adventure: Exploration of a concern for Earth restoration and how we must live to pass on to our children - and their children, and all living things - an Earth restored - by Rosemary (Rowe) Morrow

2000 Lecture - To Learn A New Song: A Quaker Contribution Towards Real Reconciliation with the Earth and its Peoples - by Susannah Kay Brindle - MP3 available here (5.34MB)

Other Resources

Earthcare Committee - The Australian Quaker Earthcare Committee currently publishes a quarterly newsletter inviting us all to pray, read, act, and celebrate Earthcare.

Earth Discussion Papers - These Discussion Papers were published by the Quaker Earthcare Committee in 2013 as part of a series exploring contemporary Quaker thinking on a range of critical environmental issues. The papers were written by a range of authors with expertise in the relevant area.

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) - A multi-faith network taking action on the most pressing issue of our time. In the face of ecological damage and social injustices, we affirm our love for this planet and its inhabitants and our deep reverence for life.

Friends in the UK - Are working on stainability issues around climate justice, fracking and sustainability. read more on their website.

Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) - work in a number of related areas such as Human Impacts of Climate Change and Sustainable & Just economic Systems. 

  • How to be a hero for all our children is an accessible guide, from QUNO, about how we can engage in personal and political climate action. The resource gathers climate science from the latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), alongside suggested personal actions and questions for politicians. It is a resource that can be shared with local communities.