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Quakers Australia Travel Guidelines
Guidelines for Travel for Australia Yearly Meeting
At Yearly Meeting 2023 the Australia Yearly Meeting Climate Emergency and Species Extinction Working Group (CESEWG) offered to take responsibility for coordinating the draft guidelines requested by YM23. The CESWG organised a workshop that included Friends with recognised skills and/or concerns. That workshop informed the drafting of these guidelines.
The guidelines went to Standing Committee in September 2023 and were accepted, here is the Minute which includes the AYM Travel guidelines:
Standing Committee Minute SC2023.09.06:
We receive the following guidelines for travel from the Quakers Australia Climate Emergency and Species Extinction Working Group:
1. This document updates and strengthens the AYM principles adopted in 2017:
(1) avoiding unnecessary travel,
(2) reducing the environmental and energy impact of necessary travel
(3) offsetting the environmental and energy impact of travel that must be undertaken
2. We must weigh up the advantages of meeting together, including the incidental exchanges that can enrich discernment and develop community, against the heavy responsibility that comes at this time of climate emergency. Proposals for travel by air, sea or land need to address the questions:
a. Is the travel necessary, is it essential? (“essential” is “something without which we cannot do” and “necessary” is “something which is important, but we can do without it”). What impact does the proposed travel have? What options or creative ways forward are there, including reducing the number of meetings? Are there any ways of achieving the intended purpose without travel? (That is, including consideration of other means of communicating are available)?
b. If travel is found to be necessary, can additional tasks or opportunities be taken, to ensure the maximum benefit is obtained from the travel?
c. Is there a role for a Clearness or Threshing Meeting to assist discernment? This is particularly relevant to non-tangible outcomes (Handbook ref 1.6 & 1.7).
d. If travel is to be undertaken, lower-carbon alternatives need to be adopted (e.g. coach, car, train, vehicle share, electric vehicle). Consideration of the traveller's well-being may be a relevant factor.
e. Where a Friend or group has a stop in their minds about travelling, how does AYM accommodate this into the meeting arrangements?
f. What offset or other mitigation measures are to be taken for the travel?
3. Quakers Australia will pay the cost of offsetting or other mitigation measures for travel taken on its behalf and will ask all QA Committees and Regional Meetings to adopt the same practice and to report these costs in their financial statements.
Offsetting and/or mitigation measures must use projects that are certifiable (or have a well-documented alternative), support carbon draw-down and/or recovery of biodiversity, or assist vulnerable communities take verifiable measures that mitigate the impacts of climate change.
4. Australian Quakers will endeavour to organise or schedule all meetings and events with due consideration for minimising or offsetting climate impacts (dates, locations, frequencies, hybrid or zoom only).
5. Hold in prayerful consideration proposals to travel that do not readily fit into our guidelines, particularly where difficult decisions need to be made.
6. These guidelines will be reviewed after two or three years (e.g. if appropriate less carbon intensive modes of travel become available).
Standing Committee accepts these guidelines and we ask that they be promoted amongst Friends.
A PDF copy of the Travel guidelines is available here: Quakers Australia Travel Guidelines