News Update

Creating a Nature Corridor (Posted 5 April 2024) - Simon and Gill of Ashburton Meeting, South Devon, are working with Devon Wildlife Trust to join their six acres of land into a nature corridor for animals and insects, and becoming part of the Nature Recovery Network. The corridor network stretches from Scotland to Cornwall. They have planted over 150 trees and introduced wild flowers over the last eleven years. (News section of 'The Friend' 5 April issue, page 5).

A Testimony against Capitalism? (Posted 5 April 2024) Paul Hodgkin of Ipswich and Diss Area Meeting asks the question in his article in 'The Friend' issue 5 April 2024 (page 10/11) entitled 'Economy drive: Paul Hodgkin asks if it's time for a Quaker testimony against capitalism. 'How do we create meaning in a world that seems headed for the medieval or the neolithic?'

https://thefriend.org

Food for Thought (Posted 5 April 2024) article contributed to 'The Friend' issue 8 March 2024 (page 15) on food ethics by Wendy Pattinson from Clitheroe Meeting entitled 'Don't feed the idol'. 

Article in 'The Friend' issue 5 April 2024 (page 8) by Amy Ellis of Jesus Lane Meeting entitled 'Using your LOAF' Local - Organic - Animal-Friendly - Fairtrade. She asked her Meeting to consider the foods served and whether the choices truly represented the Quaker testimonies. 

https://thefriend.org

Food Sustainability (Posted 25 March 2024) a food sustainability toolkit for home cooks and industry professionals has been set up by the Welsh Assembly with Tom Hunt, Chef. You can access it for free at drink-food.wales. It is full of tips to help reduce food waste, packaging and energy use in the kitchen. It is also a great source for Welsh inspired recipes.

https://food-drink.wales/

 

 UN Special Rapporteur Report on Environmental Defenders in UK under the Aarhus Convention. (Posted 4 March 2024) Michael Forst was appointed Special Rapporteur by the UN and came here in January to do an inspection and report on the current situation in the UK. His report is attached and makes for uncomfortable, disturbing reading.

https://quaker.app/livingwitness/documents/86wtf

Veganic Gardening (Posted 9 February 2024)

In Issue 1, 2024 of the Allotment Gardener Magazine, an article highlights the increasing popularity of veganic gardening. Animal products are not used, organic practices are followed and many gardeners also follow the no-dig method. Alternative methods of soil fertility are green manures, composting and using well-rotted wood chippings.  A new inter-active global map is helping to plot where veganic gardeners are located. If you are a veganic gardener you are encouraged to plot your location on this map visit https://vonmap.uk/

 

Update on Call for an International Ecocide Law (Posted 9 February 2024)

Article in the Friend, 2 February 2024, questions whether it is time for Quaker Friends to be more committed to supporting the international campaign for a law against ecocide. So far the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches have endorsed the call. The EU is criminalising 'cases comparable to ecocide' and the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Spain (Catalunya), Italy and Mexico are developing ecocide bills. Scotland is consulting on the subject. Marian from Redland Meeting and Mike from Glasgow Meeting who write the article say Quakers in England and Wales have been supportive but have not formally endorsed the campaign. They wonder 'is it time to be more committed?'.

Climate Choirs Sing for the Plant (Posted 9 February 2024)

In Issue 116 of Positive News, there is an article about the growth of climate choirs in the UK. Quaker Friend, Jo Flanagan, is a co-founder of the Climate Choir movement which first performed at the HSBC Bank's AGM in April 2022 with XR to protest against their fossil fuel investment. The article reports that there are now 10 choirs across the UK with around 550 members. The local choirs organise their own rehearsals and protests. Each month there are sessions on Zoom to learn new songs. A novel and positive way to protest.

See Youtube clip of the Climate Choir in action in London

Green Gas Mill in the UK (Posted 15 January 2024)

News from Ecotricity shares that their first green gas mill started operating summer of 2023 in Reading. They are pumping green gas made from grass into the local grid. This is an addition to the wind and solar energy they already provide. 

2023 Hopeful Signs (taken from email received from Positive News magazine)

(Posted 23 December 2023)

China's emissions forecast to start falling in 2024 due to rapid roll out of renewables. EU burning of coal and gas for electricity fell to record lows this year.

Class entered the climate debate. Oxfam investigation in November revealed richest 1% of humanity belched out more emisions in 2019 than 66% of the poorest. Paving way for targeted climate solutions. eg - could have policy changes to impact on frequent flyers of private jets.

Ecuador voted to just stop oil. 60% of voters in a referendum said 'no' to oil exploration in Yasun National Park in the Amazon.

COP28 - climate reparations became a reality. Launch of Loss and Damage Fund - some significant contributions made. It's a start.

Climate litigation ramped up - number of court cases being brought has doubled in last 5 years says a UN report released in July. Highlighting a series of landmark rulings. 

Key rail routes launched in Europe - eco travellers taking to trains in greater numbers.

Looking to the future - second time scientists in California have achieved 'ignition' which will lead the way to nuclear fusion.

COP 28 - SIDE EVENT - Shifting Money and Power - True Transformation

(Posted 17 December 2023)

QUNO led this side event during COP28 in Dubai and have posted a recording on Youtube.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyt-XZh2q74

It is about 1hr30mins in duration.

(Posted 11 December 2023)

EMES Youth Group Gathering 2023 - This year was the second in-person gathering of the EMES youth group which took place in Heerlen, The Netherlands, from the 8th to the 10th of September.  Eight Young Friends attended from five different countries including France, Georgia, Germany and the Czech Republic. It took place alongside the Border Meeting with the shared theme of Activism for Climate Justice For the full report and other news EMES Autumn Newsletter 2023

(Posted 11 December 2023)

EQAT - Earth Quaker Action Team, USA were in the news on 1 December, taking meeting for worship to the entrance to Vanguard's headquarters to 'honor our grief for what has already been lost to environmental destruction, to hold in our hearts our belief that Vanguard must change course, and to ground ourselves in our commitment to take action until it does so.' At the same time, Quakers across the United States and all the way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo joined an online meeting for worship, coordinated by Quaker Earthcare Witness, to which the action at Vanguard was live-streamed. We felt connected across distance, knowing that the impact of Vanguard's investments – and our power to do something about it – is global. You can see more about this campaigning witness on the EQAT website Latest Vanguard Action

Ecocide - EU Taking Action

EU first international organisation to criminalise wide-scale, severe environmental damage.  The environmental crime directive will be formally passed in Spring 2024 and member states will have 2 years to put into national law. (Guardian, 17 Nov 2023). Scotland recently began consulting on whether to introduce UK's first ecocide law. UK parliament currently has no intentions of introducing legislation. You can participate in Scotland's consultation, visit the Stop Ecocide International website https://www.stopecocide.earth/ 

Lindsey Fielder Cook, Representative for Climate Change at the QUNO Geneva Office, reports that Ecocide is gaining voice particularly in the faith voices present at the UN Climate COPs and related meetings.  Colleagues in the Church of Sweden have led on this, and she will see them at the upcoming COP 28, in Expo City, Dubai, at the end of November. QUNO are holding a 'watching brief', looking to see what needs could be supported by QUNO in Geneva. Lindsey reports that there is much attention right now to the upcoming request for an Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice. Once that comes in 2024, she senses Ecocide will be gaining in attention. She will be gathering information at COP 28 to discern needs on Ecocide and other efforts.

 

SHOULD QUAKERS SUPPORT AN ECOCIDE LAW?

Redland Meeting of Bristol Quakers welcomed Sue Miller of Ecocide International to speak to interested Friends on 16 September on the subject and a recording of her talk is available on Youtube:  Should Quakers Support an Ecocide Law? 

 

David George, of Hampshire and Islands Area Meeting, has produced a short film which tells anyone all they need to know about ecocide. 

‘Why on Earth isn’t Ecocide illegal?’ UK 2023 (10 mins)   https://vimeo.com/800969681 

 

Sustainability Monitoring Group

presented their update report to Meeting for Sufferings in October.  The group helps us to see whether we are meeting our 2011 Canterbury Commitment to become a low-carbon, sustainable community. The report which can be viewed here  gives an overview of the actions being taken, covering five broad areas:

  • Eldership
  • Oversight
  • Living Faithfully
  • Right Ordering
  • Witness

NEWS FROM WOODBROOKE

Quaker Eco Church Network - bi-monthly meetings on Zoom for participating Meetings
A Rocha UK’s Eco Church programme is a learning community of churches of all denominations shapes and sizes. It provides a framework to take practical action on caring for God’s earth. You can find more general information about the Eco Church network on A Rocha UK's website. https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/

The Quaker Eco Church Network meets bi-monthly on Zoom to connect with Quaker meetings across the UK who are working towards A Rocha’s Eco Church Accreditation to make our meeting houses more sustainable. For more details go to: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn/climate-crisis#courses

 

Property and Resource Sustainability Database
Woodbrooke is developing a database to share collective learning and document the Yearly Meeting’s journey towards sustainability. The database will connect meetings that are discerning how best to use their property and resources with meetings that have already made changes. These might be small or large, getting solar panels, moving to a new meeting house or developing a garden as a place of sanctuary.

If you have experience to share with others, please fill in this form so that your contribution can be included in the database: https://forms.gle/piqxNGqvcwWaqYak9
Complete Form for the Property and Resource Sustainability Database

 

Events: For information about events taking place in the coming months, click here